Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Franken v. Coleman Update

Well, here's the latest, for you out-of-towners:

The recount in the Franken/Coleman election will begin next week. As it stands today, the spread between the two candidates is just 206 votes, placing Norm Coleman ahead by 1/100th of one percent.

What has happened thus far? Counties are certifying their vote tallies. In some counties, the optical scanning machine spits out a vote tally at the end of the election and a person enters the number in the Secretary of State website. This of course, can lead to transversed numbers, etc. Reconciling the slips of paper from the voting machines with the human entries to the tally had reduced Coleman's lead significantly. The canvassing board will certify the results from the polling machines on November 18th, then the state-mandated hand recount begins. To be followed by lawsuits, no doubt.

Secretary of State Mark Ritchie has promised the recount will be completed by mid-December. My thinking is that the lawsuits won't be resolved before the Senate convenes in January, leaving open the possibility that the full Senate will be called upon to declare the winner. This could be good, as it's Democratically-controlled, but an election called by anyone other than the voting populace leads to painful accusations of partisanship and recriminations all around.

Here's hoping Mr. Ritchie and the good citizens of the recount committee can help us come out of this with a clean win. Oh, and world peace and lots of arts funding, while we're dreaming.

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