Wednesday, 3 December 2008

US election not over yet

A month after the elections were done and dusted in most of the United States, they've just found 171 new ballot forms in Ramsey County's Maplewood Precinct 6 in the Minesota Senate recount. Here the Democrats' Al Franken still harbours hopes of defeating the Republicans' Norm Coleman and adding to the pro-Obama majority in Washington. Of the new votes, 91 went to Franken, 54 to Coleman and 26 to other candidates, with the result that by Tuesday evening Coleman's lead had been cut to 303 votes. The eventual result now hinges on 6,003 ballots that have been challenged by the two candidates, with a roughly equal number being challenged by each of them.

You can judge a selection of the challenged ballots for yourself here. But if these examples are anything to go by, the final result is unlikely to change by much. The first ballot was challenged by the Coleman camp on the grounds that since the voter had plumped for McCain and Palin in the presidential election it was obviously a mistake that he or she had gone for Franken in the Senate election. And, just to make sure that the Republicans couldn't take the irrational high ground, the rejection of the second ballot on the grounds of overvoting was challenged by the Democrats, who insisted that it showed a clear preference for their candidate.


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