Digital News Report- The race between Republican Senator Norm Coleman and DFL Nominee Al Franken for a Minnesota Senate seat has been raging for nearly two months. The results were too close to call during the general election with Franken narrowly edging out Coleman 1,211,942 to 1,211,892. A recount took place between November 19th and December 5th, but both camps have taken issue with many of the rejected ballots.
As of December 30th, Franken is ahead by a slim margin of 50 votes. Franken has stated, “it appears that we’re on track to win, I want Minnesotans to know that I’m ready to get to work for them in Washington on day one.” Franken sent an email to his supporters repeating his optimism about winning and said here are still some Minnesotans whose voices haven’t been heard yet because their absentee ballots were improperly rejected.”
Republican National Committee Chairman Robert M. Duncan has said that,
“Al Franken’s declarations of victory are as inaccurate as they are premature. This recount has taken some time and we won’t know a winner for weeks to come. And, when a winner finally does emerge, we are confident it will be Norm Coleman.”
NRSC chairman John Cornyn also issued a statement saying, “his campaign’s actions in the last several days on the issues of rejected absentee ballots are creating additional chaos and disorder in the Minnesota recount… Minnesotans will not accept a recount in which some votes are counted twice, and I expect the Senate would have a problem seating a candidate who has not duly won an election.”
While both sides attempt to blame each other for the slow recount process, Minnesota voters wait eagerly as the Minnesota Secretary of State website updates the vote count every night at 8:00pm. Though the recount data there is incomplete and unofficial, it’s the closest that Minnesota residents have to an accurate count.