Minnesota Senate Race Heading to Recount
Minnesota's incredibly close Senate race looks like it's headed for a recount, with the campaigns, lawyers and elections officials already gearing up for a long and bitter fight.
Republican Sen. Norm Coleman holds a slim 476-vote lead over Democrat Al Franken, out of nearly 2.9 million cast, but Coleman has already announced that he's won. In his victory speech yesterday, Coleman urged the former "Saturday Night Live" comedian to cancel a recount, which is automatically triggered when the popular vote difference between two candidates is less than 1 percent.
(The Associated Press originally called the race for Coleman but "uncalled" it at about 9 p.m. on Election Day, saying the report had been "premature.")
But Franken has indicated he wants to proceed with a statewide recount, which will cost about $86,000 and will likely spill into December.
He also said his campaign is investigating alleged voting irregularities at some polling places in Minneapolis, and that "a recount could change the outcome significantly," according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
"Let me be clear: Our goal is to ensure that every vote is properly counted," he said.
Minnesota's 18-page 2008 Recount Guide (pdf) makes one point that could skew results: Out-of-place marks made on ballots that are "close enough to a name or line to determine voter intent are counted."
As far as voting problems, few were officially reported aside from a power outage in St. Paul's Merriam Park neighborhood after a truck hit a utility pole. Two precincts were shut down for about 20 minutes.
Election Protection, the nonpartisan elections watchdog group, received about 700 calls from Minnesotans who had trouble voting on Tuesday, but most of those problems involved issues of identification and were resolved, officials said.
By Derek Kravitz |
November 6, 2008; 6:00 AM ET
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