Franken Gets Boost in Minnesota Recount

Decision to re-examine rejected absentee ballots raises challenger's hopes
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 3, 2008 5:00 AM CST
Alan Shilepsky, a Coleman observer, left, and Franken observer Zev Aelony watch the recount of Minneapolis ballots.   (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
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(Newser) – The momentum went Al Franken's way in the Minnesota recount yesterday, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. The Democrat—trailing incumbent Sen. Norm Coleman by 303 votes with 93% of the ballots counted—picked up 37 more votes than his rival out of a pile of 171 uncounted ballots found in one county. Also yesterday, Minnesota's secretary of state ordered officials to re-examine 12,000 rejected absentee ballots, a move Franken supporters believe will help their guy.

Franken's campaign has been pushing to have what it estimates to be 1,000 improperly rejected absentee ballots added to the recount before results are finalized December 16. Minnesota's race is the last Senate contest still to be decided—although Democratic dreams of a 60-seat filibuster-proof majority died with yesterday's GOP win in Georgia.