Coleman holds +192 lead after recount

The recounting is done (with one exception)


Except for 133 missing ballots from Minneapolis, the recounting of votes from the U.S. Senate race is over. According to the Star Tribune's tabulations, Republican Sen. Norm Coleman has a 192-vote advantage over Democrat Al Franken, pending the resolution of those Minneapolis ballots and of thousands of ballot challenges.

When the recount began, Coleman held a 215-vote edge.

At 11:29 this morning, Wright County maintenance worker Allen Buskey pushed a cart with 10 boxes of ballots into Room 217 at the county government center in Buffalo and locked up the last of the 2.9 million ballots recounted since Nov. 19.

"We're done," said state elections director Gary Poser, after putting stickers on the 21st challenged ballot from the Wright County town of Montrose.

The last ballot tallied in the recount of the bitter race was for neither Coleman nor Franken, but the Independence Party's Dean Barkley, from a voter in Hanover.

The 192-vote margin almost certainly will change once the challenged ballots that have been set aside are reviewed by the state Canvassing Board.

Comment: Image captured from the Star Tribune (12/5/08). Compare Coleman & Franken: 238 votes from 11/7/08

Update: Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie said Coleman led Franken by 787 votes

With the recount virtually complete on Friday, Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie said Coleman led Franken by 787 votes. Local newspapers put Coleman's margin at about 200 votes, tallying ballots that had previously been challenged.

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