Minnesota Senate Recount Day 3
The third day of the Minnesota recount was even less exciting than the first two as Norm Coleman's lead over Al Franken reduced by 5 to 115 votes. Not that the Minneapolis Star Tribune was looking for attention grabbing headlines ... or anything. The challenges increased dramatically which reduced the gains for Al Franken. This may be due to Ramsey County Election Director Joe Mansky being told to "punt" any and all challenges to the canvassing board. My very own 8th Ward in Minneapolis may hold the key to a Franken victory. Finally, Norm flip flops on his election night comments that he would concede if he was trailing in the recount.
|MN-SEN race recount|
|Updated every evening at 8pm|
|Challenged Franken ballots||747||0.04%|
|Challenged Coleman ballots||778||0.04%|
This is 60.86% of votes counted out of 2,885,502 votes cast on November 4th.
The story of day three was challenged ballots doubled on the third day. Democratic recount watchers had challenged 374 in the first two days and Republicans had challenged 360. This doubled to 778 and 747 respectively. At this rate we're probably going to have over 4,000 challenged ballots. This increase might be simply down to new instructions given to Ramsey County Elections Director Joe Mansky. He had allowed very few challenges on the first two days. In his 30 or so years of experience, he wasn't seeing many ballots he thought would be upheld and most he considered frivolous. Here's what MyDD posted:
- Challenged ballots spiked in Ramsey County, where the county attorney's office squelched negotiations that had limited challenged ballots the first two days of the recount and observers from both campaigns questioned voters' intentions far more broadly than before.
Ramsey County Election Manager Joe Mansky, who had negotiated down challenged ballots Wednesday and Thursday with the campaigns, was told by Assistant County Attorney Darwin Lookingbill to "punt all the disputed ballots to the Canvassing Board. So that's what we will do," Mansky said.
Mansky said he thought both campaigns have instructed observers to issue challenges more widely.
You all have probably noticed that the Franken campaign has challenged more ballots than Norm. This is not necessarily good as speet points out:
Despite this gloomy analysis, Norm has his own problems. There are a large number of cross-ticket votes that Norm's folks are challenging. Apparently they simply cannot believe that anyone would vote for McCain and Franken ... they've challenged every one of these ballots.
(MN Campaign Report)
The only excitement in the third day was a few lost ballots. When you've got nearly 3 million to count this is bound to happen. The Minneapolis Star Tribune tried to make the most of it with this sensationalist headline in the dead tree copy:
Anoka County officials discovered that a Coon Rapids precinct had three fewer ballots than the voting machine printout said should be in the box. The Coon Rapids city clerk and representatives from both campaigns drove to City Hall but didn't find them. The machine printout and the hand-count of the ballots indicated that the three ballots were votes for Franken.
In St. Louis County's recount Friday morning, four ballots -- three for Coleman and one for Franken -- could not be found in a packet delivered by Hermantown's Precinct 3.
County Election Director Paul Tynjala said it was hard to know why the machine count didn't match the hand-count.
A bigger problem threatened Friday afternoon, when county workers counting ballots from Duluth's Precinct 12 came up 74 ballots short of the number electronically counted on election night. City officials were called, and a search ensued.
This time, the missing ballots were found in one of the precinct's counting machines, locked in a city warehouse on Duluth's West Side, according to County Auditor Don Dicklich. All the ballots, some for Franken and some for Coleman, were there; campaign observers said they were satisfied it was an honest mistake, and none of the votes was challenged.
Only 28% of Minneapolis has been recounted. Hennepin County will most likely be recounting until the deadline of December 5th. Here's some scoop that my neck of the woods might play a large role:
MINNEAPOLIS is only 28% counted. Between Franken and Coleman; it was Franken 78% Coleman 22%. The odd thing is that Coleman has picked up a net of 35 votes in Minneapolis (with 8 more challenges). I do note that the 8th Ward has not reported at all, and that is right in the heart of the city.
MINNEAPOLIS 8TH WARD has not reported any recount numbers. Coleman only got 10% in this inner city area. This is the type of area Franken is hoping to find undervotes. Hennepin County (Minneapolis) numbersHere.
(speet's diary at Daily Kos)
Norm has a standing policy that he gives himself the right to retract or modify any previous statement. Not surprisingly, he still expects to be taken seriously. In the reality-based community, we consider these to be flip flops. Consequently, regular readers of mnblue will not be shocked to learn that Norm has flip-flopped yet again.
First, the morning after the election, Norm suggested that if he were trailing by a tiny margin, he'd concede and suggested that Al Franken ought to.
"It's up to him whether such a step is worth the tax dollars it will take to conduct," Coleman said, telling reporters he would "step back" if he were in Franken's position.
The most comical aspect of Norm-speakTM that never ceases to amaze me is he expects everyone to believe him. Does anyone actually believe that Norm would concede if he had even the slimmest chance of winning? The Republicans at the AP soon uncalled the race.
(mnblue: Stay classy, Norm)
Now that there is a chance that Norm might be behind after the recount finishes, but prior to the canvassing board evaluating the challenges, would he follow through on his word?
Secondly, Norm now believes that the recount process is "fair." Quite a change of tune. He questioned the integrity of our elections and the right wing noise machine ran with the talking point.
But Norm is never above saying something contradictory to anything he previously said.