Thursday, November 06, 2008

Minnesota Senate Update: Franken-Coleman Deadlock

Republican incumbent Norm Coleman continues to fight for his political life in the Minnesota Senate race with the contest still undecided as of this morning. The count still stands at 1,211,644 for Coleman to 1,211,167 for Democratic challenger Al Franken -- or an amazing margin of only 477 votes out of over 2.4 million ballots cast.

(Isn't it astounding that anyone would still think after this and so many other incredibly close races that everyone's vote doesn’t matter?)

The tight vote difference falls easily within the requirements for Minnesota's mandatory recount law, that states that a recount must commence if the margin between the top two candidates is less than one-half of one percent.

Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie said the recount won't begin until the middle of this month, will likely stretch into December and involve local election officials from around the state. Ritchie said that the recount will happen at about 100 locations and that county election officials will team with counterparts from larger cities to go over each and every ballot to determine voter intent -- much like we saw in Florida after the 2000 presidential election.

"Our goal is to ensure that every vote is properly counted," said Franken in a statement Wednesday. "The process, dictated by our laws, will be orderly, fair, and will take place within a matter of days. We won't know for a little while who won this race, but at the end of the day, we will know that the voice of the electorate was clearly heard."

"We are lucky enough to live in a state with built-in protections to ensure that in close elections like these, the will of the people is accurately reflected in the outcome."