Franken Up by 50 Votes as Coleman Cherry-Picks Absentee Ballots
The Minnesota State Canvassing Board finally closed the books on challenged ballots in the U.S. Senate race, and challenger Al Franken holds 50-vote lead after a number of clerical errors were resolved.
Now we turn to the 1,346 absentee ballots that were identified by election officials as improperly rejected. The two campaigns must agree that a ballot was wrongfully discarded before it can be counted — and GOP Sen. Norm Coleman’s campaign is not making that easy.
The Franken team has agreed that all 1,346 ballots should be counted. But the Coleman camp is recommending the inclusion of just 778 of these ballots, as well as 67 ballots that were not flagged by election officials as improperly rejected. And guess what? The ballots are mostly from Republican-leaning areas!
From the Star Tribune:
Coleman’s proposed additions skew heavily toward suburban and rural counties where he did best in the election.
I explained in my last post why Coleman wouldn’t want all 1,346 ballots to be counted, but he seems to be going a bit overboard here. His campaign has given no indication that there’s an overarching logic to its choices, other than cherry-picking for Coleman’s own benefit.
The Coleman team will be taking a closer look at these ballots today, tomorrow and Friday.
UPDATE: The Star Tribune has analyzed 93 percent of the absentee ballots in question and determined that Franken is likely to gain from them. More motivation for Coleman’s selective approval of the ballots.