One news story is that mystery votes were found and Franken now leads Coleman. Another news story is that the election will be a do-over. Another story is that a interim Senator will be nominated till this can all be figured out.
Originally posted by CajunManOne news story is that mystery votes were found and Franken now leads Coleman. Another news story is that the election will be a do-over. Another story is that a interim Senator will be nominated till this can all be figured out.
My understanding is that Franken leads by 48 and that there are only two issues outstanding:
1) Coleman's side argues (with no proof offered) that some votes were counted twice. They have specifically requested that 25 out of Minnesaota's 4001 precincts have their vote numbers rolled back to what was reported on Election night on the basic argument of "We liked those numbers better".
2) Franken's side wants 1600 absentee ballots that everyone agrees were never counted to be counted. These are estimated to be 50% votes for Franken, 30+% votes for Coleman and 10% for the third party candidate. The Minnesota court as far as I can tell gave a wishy-washy decision on the matter where they suggested that the two sides should negotiate the matter, but Coleman's side have no interest in ever seeing those ballots counted because they will give Franken a healthy boost to his numbers.
Nate Silver at fivethirtyeight.com has been covering this quite a bit. Here's a link to all his recent Minnesota posts. http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/search/label/minnesota I was going to mention this post, which features a ballot marked for Brett Favre for President and Norm Coleman for Senator, and wonder whether that might have been CRZ's vote.
But seriously, all the ballot challenges made by the two candidates have been decided, and most observers believe Franken will have a lead of 30-50 votes after that.
I believe there are just two things left that could change the vote totals.
One is wrongly rejected absentee ballots, two is duplicate ballots. The Minnesota Supreme Court has ruled that all the relevant parties need to get together and figure out a procedure for reviewing wrongly rejected absentee ballots. This is necessary because districts rejected absentee ballots for inappropriate reasons. The catch is that for any rejected absentee ballots, both candidates and the local official in question will need to agree that a vote should be counted in order for it to be counted. Assuming that the Coleman campaign can't just reject every ballot they see, this should favor Franken, as the Democratic Party was encouraging people to vote early, so more absentee ballots counted probably = more Franken votes.
With the second issue, duplicate ballots are made when the first ballot won't go through the scanner for whatever reason, and also for overseas absentee ballots (military personnel, for example). Overseas absentee ballots are e-mailed to people, who then fill out their ballot and mail it in. A copy of the ballot needs to be made because ballots on normal paper won't be read by the scanner. In several hundred cases, the state couldn't locate both the original and the duplicate of these ballots. The Coleman campaign (which needs to disqualify a certain number of Franken votes to pull ahead) wants the state to make sure that these votes weren't counted twice. This is a long shot, as unlike the first issue, this isn't likely to favor one campaign over another, because the mistakes were made by the polling officials, not by individuals.
For what it's worth, I found this interesting: I did both the long and the short tests. The results for each test were completely opposite to one another, though I felt the results of the long test better reflected my own position.