Today Minnesota’s state canvassing board will start inspecting as many as 1,500 disputed ballots one-by-one. The five-member state canvassing board now steps up to the plate to see if a winner can finally be decided in this race. Just so you know the Minnesota state canvassing board is made up of the Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, two state Supreme Court justices and two Ramsey County judges.
Both campaigns had pledged to abandon many of the challenges that they lodged during the recount, which means this phase of the recount should not take nearly as long as some had feared. The Coleman campaign said it would keep about 1,000 of its challenged votes, while the Franken campaign said it would retain about 500.
Even if the board meets the goal of finishing by Friday, it seems unlikely to amount to a final resolution of this election. There will still be a major dispute over the handling of absentee ballots that were improperly rejected on Election Day. Currently the number of estimated at around 1,600. The canvassing board earlier told counties to sort and count such ballots, but the Coleman campaign on Monday asked the state Supreme Court to block that. The high court scheduled a hearing on the matter Wednesday.
Currently Norm Coleman leads Al Franken by 188 votes at this time.