The Latest From Minnesota: Ballots Have Been Separated From Envelopes

Here’s the latest update from the the Minnesota election court. The court has selected 351 ballots to be counted today, out of 387 that were reviewed yesterday. You can view the proceedings, courtesy of our friends at The Uptake.

This number is too small to reverse Al Franken’s current lead of 225 votes — Norm Coleman would need to win 289 of them, or 82%, assuming that every single ballot had a discernible vote for one of the two candidates. Furthermore, this batch could very well favor Franken, since it was assembled from lists put forward by both candidates. But as for Coleman’s list, the judges’ opinion last week pointed out multiple times that Coleman had failed to produce sufficient evidence for various counties.

In any case, this won’t be the end. After these ballots are counted, and Al Franken is still ahead and quite possibly by a bigger margin, Coleman will appeal to the state Supreme Court, and possibly take his case to federal courts after that.

One other thing: The court called a brief recess, but only after the inner secrecy envelopes containing the ballots were fully separated form the outer return envelopes, thus de-coupling the votes from the individual voters and guaranteeing that this cannot be reversed. State election officials are now opening the secrecy envelopes and putting the ballots into neat piles before counting.