The great Senate race recount of 2008 continues apace in Minnesota, with former funny guy Al Franken, the Democrat, enjoying a net gain of 46 votes over former furniture vendor Norm Coleman, the Republican, not counting ballot challenges. That leaves Coleman’s advantage over Franken at about 200 votes, out of 2.9 million cast, but those numbers don’t mean as much as anyone might like. That’s because both Coleman and Franken have challenged more than 1,500 votes, which must be adjudicated by the state canvassing board next month.
Math wiz Nate Silver, over at fivethirtyeight.com, uses his modeling magic and predicts that things are going well for Franken. “The various versions of the model project a Franken win by between 48 and 136 votes once all ballots are re-counted and all challenges are resolved,” he writes. But Democrats can’t celebrate yet, because the margin of error of Silver’s analysis is plus or minus “at least” 200 votes.
Which means we all still have time to sit back, relax and wonder just what the “Lizard People” voter in Minnesota was thinking. This fine citizen both filled in the bubble for Al Franken and wrote in a vote for “Lizard People.” The county auditor/treasurer has ruled that this is an invalid overvote. Franken’s representatives have challenged that decision. I am looking forward to the press conference when Franken admits that he is in fact one of the “Lizard People,” which might help his case before the canvassing board. To see pictures of some of the challenged ballots, including “Lizard People,” click here.