As we reported earlier, the canvassing board recommended that mistakenly rejected ballots be counted, and that the 133 missing ballots from Minneapolis 3-1 be counted (net+46 Franken). The AP explains why counting the absentee ballots is significant to Franken:
"It's a boost to Democrat Al Franken, who has fought hard for their inclusion. Republican Sen. Norm Coleman leads Franken in unofficial tallies. The directions are voluntary because the state board's members say they don't have the power to force counties to do it. At least 630 absentees are known to have been erroneously rejected, but state officials say it could be more than 1,500."
The Pioneer Press reports that in blue leaning Duluth, as many as 40 percent of the absentee ballots were mistakenly rejected:
Franken also received unexpected good news when Deputy Secretary of State Jim Gelbmann dropped a mini-bombshell, telling the board that in overwhelmingly Democratic Duluth — which has not officially tallied rejected absentees — about 40 percent of that city's 319 rejected absentee ballots were mistakenly rejected. Gelbmann said the city rejected the votes because either the voter or the witness did not date their signatures. He said he couldn't find any state law to support such a rejection.
Franken for the win? We'll see. As always, we'll keep you updated. The State Canvassing Board meets again on Tuesday to start the process of resolving challenged ballots. They are supposed to finish by the "19th at dusk" according to Secretary of State Mark Ritchie.
Canvassing Update 2
December 5th Update
December 4th Update
Dececember 3rd Update
December 1st Update