Mining the Minnesota Recount
January 28, 2009
More than two and a half months after the general election, Minnesota still only has one senator. We try to explain why.
Republican incumbent Norm Coleman headed into the Minnesota U.S. Senate recount leading Democratic challenger Al Franken by more than 200 votes. But on Jan. 5, the state Canvassing Board certified recount results showing Franken received 225 more votes than Coleman in the general election, out of nearly 2.9 million votes cast. How did this happen?
Unlike many right-leaning blogs and commentators, Coleman makes no claim of partisan funny business by the five members of the Canvassing Board, which has only one clearly identified Democrat. Coleman's lawyer once praised the panel's makeup, in fact.
Coleman's appeal challenging the board's certification, which a three-judge panel began hearing Jan. 26, lays out his theory: "Not every valid vote has been counted, and some have been counted twice." Coleman raises several issues, among them: duplicate ballots, "missing" ballots, "improperly" rejected absentee ballots and discrepancies in rulings made on ballots concerning voter intent.
In our Analysis section, we take a look at each issue.
Note: This is a summary only. The full article with analysis, images and citations may be viewed on our Web site: