Tuesday, December 16, 2008

As the Ballots Turn

The soap opera continues today. In the latest episode, the Franken Campaign makes more ground, and independent analysis shows they may be in the drivers seat come the end of the challenged ballot review:
The AP also found that of the 3,500 challenged ballots that easily could be assigned, Franken netted 200 more votes than Coleman. But Coleman has withdrawn significantly fewer ballot challenges than Franken — that is, the pool of challenges that can now be awarded to Franken is larger, and both campaigns announced Sunday that they would withdraw more challenges by Tuesday.

Of the remaining challenges, the AP found that only about 1,640 couldn't reliably be awarded to either candidate. More than 400 possible Franken votes were being held up on grounds that those voters identified their ballots through write-ins, initials, phone numbers or some other distinctive marking. At least 300 possible Coleman votes were in limbo for the same reasons.

Franken could also get a boost because a few more of his potential supporters than Coleman's were among the nearly 600 ballots that had two filled-in ovals as well as crossed-out votes, an X above or below their darkened oval, or different-size partial marks in more than one oval.
As of the deadline, yesterday, Franken had whittled his challenges below 500, as promised. The Coleman Camp claimed they would be under 1000, but missed the deadline. As of this morning, I believe the Coleman Campaign was able to get their withdrawals in, but that still leaves a 500 vote differential between the two. And the 500 vote swing could just give Franken t he eventual lead.

The irony in all this, is that the Coleman Camp has been fighting to have improperly rejected absentee ballots counted. If the AP analysis holds true, those absentee votes may be Coleman's only hope. It will be interesting to see if he changes his tune and does the flip flop dance.

All I want is all legal votes to be counted, including improperly rejected absentee ballots. And in the end, the canvassing board will issue a certificate of election. Whomever is the bearer of that piece of paper, will be my Senator. I have been firm and consistent on that pledge. We'll see if Senator Coleman is as consistent on his.


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