Franken’s Lead Holds at 48 After Review
The Minnesota State Canvassing Board today finally completed its review of challenged ballots in the U.S. Senate recount, and Democratic-Farmer-Labor challenger Al Franken holds a 48-vote lead over Republican incumbent Sen. Norm Coleman.
The Coleman campaign, getting a bit desperate as Franken emerges as the likely winner, this morning began challenging the challenges, arguing that 16 challenged ballots were not properly ruled on. But the board would have none of it, and it stuck with its initial rulings. After reviewing these 16 ballots, it expressed even “more confidence” in its decision-making. Board member Eric Magnuson, who also serves as chief justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court, warned against further challenges, saying, “I think you have a sense of how we’re disposed to rule on these things.”
Last night, Franken was projected to lead by 48 votes at the conclusion of the process, consistent with his campaign’s earlier prediction of a 35- to 50-vote lead. That projection held as the board completed its review.
Still on the table:
- Today’s Minnesota Supreme Court ruling on double-counted ballots, as alleged by the Coleman campaign.
- Around 1,500 improperly rejected absentee ballots that should be counted, though the implementation of this process will be quite contentious. Both campaigns must agree that a ballot was improperly rejected for it to be counted — and given their track record, agreement between the two campaigns is hard to come by.
- Lawsuits, lawsuits and more lawsuits.