Minnesota Senate Recount Difference - Five Votes
Initial Challenges and Improperly Rejected
Ballots Yet To Be Counted
AFTERNOON UPDATE: FRANKEN TAKES LEAD:
According to a tally by the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Franken has taken the lead as the state’s Board of Canvassers continues to review ballots challenged by both campaigns during the state's hand recount.
Franken led early Friday afternoon by nearly 200 votes, according to the paper. While Coleman led Franken by 188 votes at the conclusion of the hand recount, the board's review of thousands of challenged ballots has yielded a lead – which could again narrow – for Franken on Friday.
More than six weeks after the Nov. 4 election, Democratic challenger Al Franken threatened to take his first lead Thursday over incumbent GOP Sen. Norm Coleman in the recount of votes in the hotly contested Minnesota Senate race.
The State Canvassing Board ended its day Thursday with Franken having moved within just five votes of Coleman.
If Franken ultimately emerges the winner, he will be the 59th Democratic vote in the U.S. Senate, putting President-elect Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid just one vote away from being able to cut off a filibuster on any issue, as they work to push Obama’s ambitious legislative agenda through Congress.
Coleman began Thursday with a 358-vote lead. But by 1 p.m., his advantage had dwindled to just 195 votes out of nearly 3 million votes cast on Election Day. The slide continued until about 6 p.m. Eastern time, when the board called it a day, with Coleman clinging to a five-vote margin.