In the highly contested recount between incumbent Republican Senator Norm Coleman and challenger Democratic Farmer Laborer Al Franken, only a few hundred votes are putting Franken in the lead. After more absentee ballots were counted today by the Minnesota Canvassing Board, Franken’s lead increased. Of the ballots counted, 52% went for Franken, 33% for Coleman, and the rest didn’t have someone listed or voted for “other.” That “other” category is mostly Dean Barkley, the Minnesota Independence Party candidate for US Senate this November. He got more than 15% of the vote.
As for who will be Minnesota’s Senator, the Minneapolis Star Tribune said,
Coleman’s attorneys said that depending on what the court decides, they would be ready to file a legal action contesting the recount results as early as Tuesday. Recount attorney Fritz Knaak said that he believed 300 to 400 ballots would go Coleman’s way in a contest, including through the addition of absentee ballots so far excluded and the elimination of so-called “double votes” in Minneapolis.
“We are prepared to go forward and take whatever legal action is necessary to … remedy this artificial lead that we believe is being shown now for the Franken campaign,” Knaak said.
Franken recount attorney Marc Elias was somewhat restrained in his comments following the counting, expressing satisfaction that the disputed absentee votes were counted and confidence that Franken will be declared the winner Monday.