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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Minnesota Coleman Franken Recount And 'Frivolous' Challenges

Weeks after the election we are still waiting for the final outcome of the Minnesota Senate race between Al Franken (D) and Norm Coleman (R), in which Coleman came out ahead by 215 votes before the recount, the number being so low that Franken was entitled to a recount.

They have gone up and down as the recount has been ongoing and the latest news is 78 percent of the precincts are finished (81 as of now) and Coleman still holds a 210 vote lead, according to the Star Tribune, with other tabulations putting the lead as low as 170+.

More than 78 percent of the votes had been recounted as of Monday night, and Republican Sen. Norm Coleman's advantage over DFLer Al Franken stood at 210, according to a Star Tribune compilation of results reported to the secretary of state and gathered by the newspaper. Before the recount, Coleman led Franken by 215 votes out of about 2.9 million cast, a margin that has fluctuated over the past week.

There also seems to be an equal number of challenges from both campaigns, 3,000 of them according to that same article.

Andrew Malcolm from LA Times' Top of the Ticket shows us some examples of the type of "challenges" that are being seen.

A couple examples of a ballots for Coleman that are being challenged by Franken:

Then one for Franken that is being challenged by Coleman:

Talk about a huge waste of time and tax payers money!

According to SC Times .com, Stearns County Auditor-Treasurer Randy Schreifels is calling some of these challenges “frivolous”.

But as of 10 a.m., there already had been seven ballots challenged where voter intent was very clear, he said in a news release.

Schreifels called the challenges “frivolous” in the news release and said most of them came from one challenger affiliated with Democrat Al Franken’s campaign.

One ballot was challenged because the oval wasn’t completely blackened, and another because there was a small mark elsewhere on the ballot that was not near the U.S. Senate race, Schreifels said.

On Friday, there were 15 challenges, most of which were also frivolous, he said.

Officials have until December 5, 2008 to complete their recount and deal with all challenges.