Day two, and the drama in Minnesota continues as Al Franken chips away at the slim lead that Republican incumbent Norm Coleman had after the initial count was completed.
Today is Day 2 in the Minnesota recount of ballots in the overtime election struggle between Republican incumbent Norm Coleman and Democratic rival Al Franken, and retabulating in St. Louis County continues to nibble at Coleman’s razor-thin lead.
In Duluth today, that advantage further shank. Faintly marked “arrow” ballots and the outdated machines that have trouble reading them continued to favor Franken during vote total adjustments in St. Louis County.
Franken gained 19 votes to Coleman’s 13 this morning as county employees hand-counted ballots from three additional precincts that still use older “Eagle” scanning machines. The machines require voters to draw a line connecting the back and front of arrows pointing to their choice.
If the line completing the arrow is faint, the machines don’t always read the vote, though the voter’s intent is clear to hand-counters, election officials said.
Eighteen of the county’s 184 precincts use the machines.
Meanwhile, in Ramsey County this morning, preliminary recount tallies in nine precincts left Coleman with a net gain of one vote.
On Wednesday, Franken gained 40 votes from the Eagle ballot hand-count in the left-leaning county, and Coleman gained 12.
With 14 of the 18 “Eagle” precincts counted through this morning, Franken had gained 59 to Coleman’s 25, a net gain of 34 for Franken from the previously uncounted “arrow” votes.