Monday, December 01, 2008

Minnesota Senate Recount Update

The recount goes on in the Minnesota Senate race with most of it done at this point and Democrat Al Franken still trailing Republican Norm Coleman.

As of about 8:00 PM Saturday night, the Minnesota Secretary of State's office was reporting that with the recount done in almost 90 percent of the state's precincts and with 86 percent of the ballots counted again, Coleman still leads Franken 1,044,255 to 1,040,285, a margin of 3,970 votes.

The recount started with Franken behind Coleman by 215 votes out of the 2.9 million ballots cast.

However, as I crunched some Minnesota county numbers last night, I found that of the six biggest counties in the state -- making up well over half the state's voters -- the four counties (of those six) that went for Coleman on November 4th are completely done and are thus already included in the above total.

Conversely, Hennepin and Ramsey Counties, by far the two biggest in the state, and that went overwhelmingly for Franken on election day, are not fully counted. Hennepin County has recounted 86 percent (365 of 426) of its precincts, while Ramsey County has been through 81 percent (144 of 178) of its precincts.

This leaves some room for Franken to play catch-up as the recount continues.

"There is more blue left to be counted than there is red left to be counted," said Marc Elias, Franken's lead recount attorney.

Also important in all of this are the 5,000 plus ballots that have been challenged in one way or another by either side -- these are ballots with questionable markings and where one of the candidates disagrees with the voter-intent decision made by officials during the recount.

Let's see what happens this week.