At the time of this writing, 15.9% of the votes have been officially recounted in Minnesota’s US Senate race between Norm Coleman (R) and Al Franken (D). The Coleman campaign has gone from 195,708 votes as of November 4, to 195,638 votes. The Franken campaign recount reports 180,923 votes, compared to 180,950 on November 4. The Coleman campaign challenged 115 ballots today; the Franken campaign challenged 106 ballots. See the Minnesota Secretary of State’s website for a full accounting of the votes recounted today, which resulted in a net gain of 43 votes for Franken excepting the challenged ballots. (See here for daily updated tally.)
In other recount news, Judge Dale B. Lindman has granted an Order for Temporary Restraining Order and Temporary Injunction in response to a Motion filed by attorney David Lillehaug on behalf of the Franken campaign. Lillehaug had specifically requested “the names and addresses of all persons who submitted absentee ballots in connection with the general election of November 4, 2008, but whose absentee ballots were rejected or otherwise not counted” from Ramsey County Elections Manager Joseph Mansky, pursuant to the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act, Minn. Stat. Ch. 13 (2008). Judge Lindman concluded that the names of voters who submitted an absentee ballot return envelope, the envelopes of absentee ballots that have not been opened by an election judge and other data must be made available to the Franken campaign for inspection and/or copying.
Although there has been no decision made on whether the rejected absentee ballots will be allowed to be counted as part of the recount, the ruling is a victory for the Franken campaign, which hopes to convince the State Canvassing Board to allow some, if not all, of the ballots to be counted.