The first stage of the recount has ended in Minnesota, and the Franken camp's methodology puts them ahead by an unbelievable 4 votes. Due to differing methodologies, the official tally has it +687 for Coleman, and the Star-Tribune's has it at +192 Coleman. Kos does his best to explain the differences in methodologies:
With the recount over, the Star Tribune gives Norm Coleman a 238-vote lead, but that doesn't include challenged ballots, which number about 5,400, pending negotiations between the campaigns to reduce the number of challenged ballots. While the official state results site hasn't been updated yet, Minnesota Public Radio is reporting that the official margin will be down to a 192-vote Coleman lead, which would be down slightly from the 215-vote Coleman victory after the first count. Why the discrepancies? Beats me.Looks like it's just about time for a coin flip.
The state canvassing board will meet on December 16 to review those challenged ballots. If they were to affirm the decision of local election judges on every one of those challenges, then the Franken campaign claims it would win by four votes. That number does not include the 133 missing ballots from a Minneapolis precinct that have likely cost Franken about 36 votes. A state election official has said that if the ballots aren't found, they would probably stick with the election night numbers, giving Franken a bit more of a cushion. One can't assume that every single one of those ballot challenges will fail.