Counting Conundrum: The ongoing Minnesota recount saga
From NBC's Jeff Hanley
Marc Elias, lead attorney for the Franken campaign, in a teleconference call today declared that the gap in votes between Al Franken (D) and Norm Coleman (R) is now only separated by a double-digit total vote margin.
Citing evidence from Franken recount observers, Elias said that, as of last night, 51.1% of all ballots cast have been counted and that Franken had picked up votes.
The Franken campaign also believes the remaining ballots that have not yet been counted will lean in favor of Franken, a stark contrast from the Coleman campaign's assertion that the recount would be frontloaded with Franken ballots.
The Franken campaign also accused the Coleman campaign of frivolous ballot challenges. Giving an example of one such instance, Elias said the Coleman campaign believes that, "If you voted for John McCain, it is inconceivable that you didn't intend to vote for Norm Coleman."
Ten ballots were produced by Elias that he said showed no question in the intent of voters -- that they had clearly intended to vote for McCain for president but Franken for senator.
When asked during the teleconference if mediation would occur between the Coleman and Franken campaigns related to ballot challenges prior to the Minnesota State Canvassing Boards hearing on the matter Dec. 16th, the Franken campaign responded simply, "There have not been any such discussions."
At last check, Coleman was up by about 200 votes officially. The recount is being updated here by the Minnesota Secretary of State.