The drip, drip, drip of election returns


The recount of the U.S. Senate election in Minnesota may not start until later this month, but some rejiggering must already be underway. That much was made clear this afternoon when one vote was taken from Norm Coleman and given to DFLer Al Franken, on the Secretary of State’s Web site. Early in the afternoon, Dean Barkley picked up 33 votes.

  Barkley Franken Coleman Total Diff
9:20 AM 437,345 1,211,083 1,211,520 2,859,948 437
12:41 PM 437,345 1,211,189 1,211,527 2,860,061 338
12:45 PM 437,378 1,211,189 1,211,527 2,860,094 338
1:03 PM 437,378 1,211,190 1,211,526 2,860,094 336
1:24 PM 437,378 1,211,190 1,211,527 2,860,095 337
1:48 PM 437,376 1,211,189 1,211,527 2,860,092 338
1:54 PM 437,376 1211,197 1,211,538 2,860,111 341
3:54 PM 437,377 1211,206 1,211,542 2,860,125 336
4:29 PM 437,187 1,210,487 1,211,077 2,858,751 590
Interesting here how 1,500 votes were removed.
4:54 PM 437,377 1211,206 1,211,542 2,860,125 336
And then put back. I think they’re toying with us.
8:50 AM Fri 437,377 1211,306 1,211,542 2,860,225 236
10:20 AM 437,378 1211,305 1,211,543 2,860,226 238

I checked with a few auditors in small counties in Minnesota to see if they could haul the ballots out again and take another look. None seemed tempted to do so. “I believe that state law requires that we wait for the SOS to give direction. If it doesn’t, I would wait for the SOS direction anyway,” Wayne Bezenek of Wilkin County told me this afternoon.


Since 9:30 this morning, Franken has shaved 100 votes off Coleman’s lead. This process is obviously going to be like watching your retirement fund during a bad market. It’s better to just forget about it and come back later. But if you insist, here’s my little rinky-dink spreadsheet if you’d like to divide the labor.

If you want to make some popcorn and spend the evening sitting in front of your computer for hours of vote-counting fun, you can follow the conversation via Twitter.

(h/t: Braublog)

  • What’s going on now is the General Canvass, which is to say the real count of votes. Election night was only a first pass. They are counting challenge ballots that are deemed valid, ballots that had mechanical problems, and the like. There may be a few absentee ballots that arrived in time but weren’t counted.

    They have 2 weeks to finish the General Canvass. Then, the recount begins. What we saw on election night was ONLY the first estimate, nothing more.

  • At this rate, by tomorrow morning Al Franken will be the winner. I wonder if Coleman will want a recount then?

  • Jim!!!

    I know no amount of cheering is going to change the ink on those ballots, but I’m willing to give it a try.


  • D B

    At this rate, by tomorrow morning Al Franken will be the winner. I wonder if Coleman will want a recount then?

    Franken: “Well, if Norm wants to waste the taxpayer’s money for a recount, fine.”

    THAT would be epic.

  • Jim!!!

    Argh! Now it’s 590.

  • sam

    Back down to 410.

  • I heard that the constitutional amendment had problems in 2 counties, any followup on that?

    If they, I mean when they recount since it is state wide will they double check the amendment also?

    I can’t believe it passed.

  • D B

    Back down to 410.

    Down to 236.


  • Auntie

    Just keep countin’…

  • Chris Gregoire

    just keep countin’…

    Right up until you get the answer you want, then stop! Nothing will restore faith in the system like dropping the whole recount like a hot potato as soon as you get your favored result.

  • Jim!!!

    Well that would be so easy Chris, just start counting in Hennepin or Ramsey County. Duh?