Franken Camp: Margin Now 84 Votes, Ballots Still Missing

12/26/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • Sam Stein Senior Politics Editor, The Huffington Post

The Franken campaign, citing internal numbers, say the recount election deficit that they face against Sen. Norm Coleman is now down to a mere 84 votes.

The results, announced by Franken's chief counsel, Marc Elias, present a mixed bag of sorts for the Democratic challenger. While Franken has narrowed the post election gap by some 61 percent (he started roughly 215 votes behind Coleman), the numbers were taken after a survey of 78.9 percent of the November 4 vote.

Elias, sounding a somewhat optimistic tone, said that the remaining recount will come from areas that lean (51 percent) Democratic.

"We believe that an overall subset of the vote yet to be included in the recount is overall bluer," he said.

In addition to updating reporters on the new margin -- which differs from the count of Minnesota's Secretary of State -- Elias rang the alarm, once more, over rejected absentee ballots and ballots that have gone missing from the recount process.

Noting that some of the 6,400 absentee ballots were rightfully rejected because they did not meet election compliance laws, he added that the campaign had taken legal action to ensure that the process was transparent.

"We made clear that our lawsuit for the data was to understand what the scope of the rejected absentees were," he said of the suit the campaign had previously filed. The state canvassing board will take up the question of rejected absentee ballots at a meeting on Wednesday.

Elias estimated that there were somewhere in the range of 150 missing ballots -- a margin that could favor Coleman or Franken or, in the historically close race, could affect the outcome of the election.