Minnesota Recount Over. Franken Up 225 Votes.
However, Norm Coleman is going to the courts to add even more rejected absentee ballots. Still, to overcome a 225 votes deficit at this point seems extremely unlikely.
Here’s more from the Star Tribune…
DFLer Al Franken held an unofficial lead of 225 votes over Coleman, according to a newspaper tally of the officials’ count of the absentee ballots. Franken had led unofficially by 49 votes going into the day and gained a net 176 votes from the new ballots.
With the recount complete, focus immediately shifted to the Minnesota Supreme Court, which continued to consider a request from the Coleman campaign to alter the process and add more absentee ballots to be reconsidered. But by early evening there was no word from the state’s highest court as to when it would rule or hear arguments. […]
Under state law, an election certificate formally naming a winner cannot be issued until all legal disputes are resolved.
The lawsuit, called an election contest, is expected to center on the issue of the excluded absentee ballots as well as disputes over ballots the Coleman campaign believes were double counted and a decision to use Election Day machine totals, rather than recount totals, in a Minneapolis precinct where more than 100 ballots went missing.
How bleak are things for Coleman?
Either way, a number of legal stratagems that might have seemed appealing to the Coleman campaign might now be somewhat mooted. For instance, even if all 130 ballots that the Coleman campaign claimed were double-counted for Franken were removed from his tally (but no ballots at all had been double-counted for Coleman), Franken would maintain a significant advantage. With Franken doing so well among the absentee ballots that were counted today, moreover, any Coleman attempts to get more absentee ballots counted would seem to have a high risk of backfiring.
So I think the best shot Coleman has right now is to try and get a reelection…which seems highly unlikely given the new margin of victory Franken has.
More as it develops…
(Thanks to Jake Dahn for the tip.)