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Al Franken’s Senate setback
How reexamining thousands of rejected ballots affects Norm Coleman's chances of reversing Franken's recount lead
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l Franken just hit another stumbling block on the road to the Senate, said Pat Doyle and Kevin Duchschere in the Minnesota's Star-Tribune. A three-judge panel on Tuesday kept alive Republican Norm Coleman’s challenge of Minnesota’s recount by saying that as many as 4,800 absentee ballots were wrongly rejected and should be considered.

“It isn't clear to me whether the ruling is that the 4,800 ballots in question actually are valid and will be counted,” said John Hinderaker in Power Line, or merely that they should be reviewed to see if they’re valid. “Either way, it appears to be a big win for Coleman; one that makes it appear possible that he might make up Franken's 220-vote lead.”

Coleman’s only hope is to put more ballots in play, said Nate Silver in FiveThirtyEight.com. So, yes, this ruling is a victory for him. But out of 150 ballots flagged as “wrongly rejected” by Coleman that were triple-checked earlier this month, only 1 ended up getting counted. If that rate holds, Coleman’s 4,800 ballots will get him 32 votes—and Franken will get the Senate seat.

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