From NBC's John Talty
In the hotly contested Minnesota Senate recount, missing ballots could provide another source of rancor between the two candidates. In a Franken camp teleconference call this afternoon, lead recount attorney Marc Elias stressed the need to find missing ballots and encouraged the Minnesota Secretary of State's office to take an active role in the process.
"Missing ballots aren't automatically an indication of foul play, but it should be a serious matter of concern," Elias said. "We hope and call on the Secretary of State to issue clear instructions on all counties so that these ballots may be found and properly counted."
Elias provided examples in both Clay County and St. Louis County, in which the amount of ballots cast on November 4th does not match up with the amount of ballots produced for reconsideration in the recount. He also continued to assert that the difference between Al Franken (D) and incumbent Norm Coleman remains in only the double digits.
In a senatorial race where every single vote matters, a handful of missing votes in Clay or St. Louis County could ultimately make the difference, Franken's attorney reminded reporters.
"We know this is an election that is down to double digits out of 2.9 million votes cast," Elias said. "In an election this close, we cannot let any lawful vote go uncounted."
Today's call comes in advance of a Wednesday meeting of the two camps with the Minnesota Canvassing Board to discuss whether rejected absentee ballots will be reconsidered. While unsure of exactly how things would go on Wednesday, Elias reiterated a point that he has made during the entire recount process stating, "…if a Minnesota resident cast a lawful ballot then it should be counted," including the contested absentee ballots.