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A Nail-Biter In Minnesota

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They’re still counting votes in the Minnesota Senate race, and it’s looking like it will turn out to be one of the closest Senate races in a long time:

Just as Secretary of State Mark Ritchie was explaining to reporters the recount process in one of the narrowest elections in Minnesota history, an aide rushed in with news: Pine County’s Partridge Township had revised its vote total upward — another 100 votes for Democratic candidate Al Franken, putting him within .011 percentage points of Republican U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman.

The reason for the change? Exhausted county officials had accidentally entered 24 for Franken instead of 124 when the county’s final votes were tallied at 5:25 Wednesday morning.

“That’s why we have recounts,” Ritchie said, surveying the e-mail sent in from the county auditor. “Human error. People make mistakes.”

The margin in the tightest Senate race in the country bounced like the stock market throughout the day, with the difference between Coleman and Franken dropping, then rising briefly to 590 votes before shooting down to a razor-thin 236 by day’s end.

In a reversal of the previous day, when Coleman had declared victory and suggested that Franken should waive a recount, Coleman kept to himself on Thursday, while Franken called reporters to talk about the prospects for a continued narrowing of the count.

One wonders what the difference will be in a day.