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CSPG Report: Potential for Change in the Senate Recount

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The Center for the Study of Politics and Governance released a report this week which puts into perspective what seemed like large changes in the vote count for Al Franken between the end of Election Day to just before the recount.

From the CSPG report:

A study of the change between the initial vote count and the official results posted by the Minnesota Secretary of State’s results for the 2000, 2006, and 2008 U.S. Senate elections reveal four critical findings that may provide some perspective on the adjustments to the Coleman and Franken tallies.

• The change in 2008 between the “initial? count on Election Day and the official count was smaller than previous years. If the past is a guide, this suggests that the recount may change the final vote tallies by several thousand votes.

• The Democrats have consistently benefited from the changes after Election Day.

• If the initial vote count was changed by a similar proportion in 2008 as in previous Senate elections, Franken would move into the lead and by a larger margin than that currently separating the two candidates.

• Although there may be an assumption that a recount will increase the number of votes that each candidate receives, past Senate elections suggests that the vote tallies may actually decline. The tendency for vote totals to decline may be something to consider during the recount process.

Click here for the full report.

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