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Analysis: Numbers

A story about the vote recount between Sen. Norm Coleman and Al Franken involves numbers. It was published by the Star Tribune.

The reporter used numbers several times. First, he wrote about the 100-vote increase from the Iron Range. Later, he explained the changing difference in vote counts, saying "The difference between Coleman and Franken, which stood at 725 votes in Coleman's favor Wednesday morning, has changed several times since then as county officials have checked results, and was 221 by Friday evening."

Finally, he says that the number of votes for Franken in Precinct 1 in Mountain Iron changed from 406 to 506, and that "both Democrats won the precinct by a ratio of more than 2-to-1."

No, the numbers are not overwhelming. They are helpful and necessary to understand the story.

Yes, he used a small amount of math when he gave the 2-to-1 ratio. The ratio is especially helpful to give a clearer picture of the difference in number of votes.

The sources of the numbers is assumed, but the source of the 100 votes from the Iron Range is listed as "an election night worksheet from St. Louis County ...from Precinct 1 in Mountain Iron."

He does not list where the votes came from when he said the count "changed several times."