Franken Gets A Boost

It was a good day for Minnesota Senate candidate Al Franken, who is still embroiled in a drawn-out recount battle with Republican rival Norm Coleman.

(AP Photo/Jim Mone)
First off, a state board recommended that election night results be used in a precinct where 133 ballots disappeared. As the Associated Press notes, the decision to count election night results instead of the results of the manual recount (which took place minus the missing votes) saved Franken 46 votes – a not insignificant number in a race where he trails by just 192.

The board also ruled that up to 1,500 absentee ballots rejected for something other than the four legally specified reasons be included in the count, a decision that the Coleman camp vowed to fight in court.

"It was a great day for democracy," Franken's attorney Marc Elias said, according to the AP.

Though the recount is over and Coleman has a slim lead, there is little clarity on who will ultimately win the seat. The formerly-rejected absentee ballots could favor either candidate – though the Franken camp certainly seems to see today's decision as a helpful one – and there remain about 4,200 ballots that are not included in the tally because they were challenged by one of the candidates.

The state Canvassing Board will begin examining those ballots Tuesday.

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