Minnesota Recount: Counting's done ... almost

The caveat?  Those supposedly missing 133 ballots from Minneapolis that may just have been double-counted on Election Night.  While the Al Franken teams wants a CSI Minnesota investigation, the rest of the state has finished its recount.  Result?

When the recount began, Coleman held a 215-vote advantage over Franken.

The latest Star Tribune tabulation, not including today’s results, showed Coleman with a 251-vote margin, although that will certainly change once thousands of challenged ballots that have been set aside are reviewed by the state Canvassing Board and, in many cases, return to the mix.

The Canvassing Board is to meet on Dec. 16 to begin its review of the recount and of the challenged ballots.

That’s a nine-vote improvement from the final numbers issued by the state after Election Night and the string of changes that came afterwards.  It means nothing, though, until the board sifts through 5,000 ballot challenges to determine whether they can see voter intent.  We’ll probably not find out who gets to sit in the Senate until at least Christmas and maybe not until the New Year.

Still, it could be worse.  Franken could start taking lessons from Christine Gregoire on recount etiquette:

Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire (D) knows all about close races and recounts, and she recently offered her advice to the Democratic-Farmer-Labor nominee in the protracted Minnesota Senate race.

“I told him, don’t let [Republicans] market that something is wrong with the recount,” Gregoire said Tuesday, reflecting on her personal call to Franken. “Don’t let that happen. Recounts happen in America.”

Uh, no one said there was anything wrong with a recount.  In fact, it’s a statutory requirement under these circumstances.  We just want valid ballots recounted, while Franken wants disqualified ballots, new ballots, and ESP votes to count.

Looks like Rasmussen respondents had it just about right.