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Election volunteers get ready for recount

MPR reported that the race for senate between Democratic candidate Al Franken and Republican incumbent Norm Coleman continues as volunteers get ready for the official recount. The difference in votes is currently 206, although that figure is scheduled to change.

The votes will be counted by hand, all 2.9 ballots from the 89 counties in Minnesota. The recount make last through December.

Univ. of Minnesota political science professor Larry Jacobs said he doesn't think the recount will be easy for election officials.

"This is hard work. Counting, by hand, 2.9 million ballots is not a picnic," said Jacobs. "It's a lot of daily drudgery of holding up the ballots and putting them into piles: the Coleman pile and the Franken pile, the disputed pile and then votes for other candidates."

Volunteers from both parties will participate in the counting, which Jacobs says ensures accuracy. Disputed ballots go before the State Canvassing Board, which will then decide whether the ballots are included in the final tally.

Both campaigns are having no trouble finding loyal supporters to help them with the recount. The Franken campaign had hundreds of people show up this weekend for training.

Neither campaign allowed the media to cover their training sessions.

Officials hope for the recount to be done by mid-December, but with potential legal challenges after the recount, it could go long after that.