Franken challenges reviewed, Coleman challenges next

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The state Canvassing Board finished reviewing Al Franken's ballot challenges Wednesday and now it's time to move on to Norm Coleman's challenges. At the end of the day Wednesday, there were 391 challenges made by the Franken campaign, according to the Star Tribune and FiveThirtyEight analysis. More than 50 percent of the challenges (225 ballots) were counted for Coleman, 56 for Al Franken (14%), and 110 (28%) went to a third party or no one. 

Coleman's campaign withdrew about 400 challenges Thursday morning, the Associated Press says. That leaves about 800 Coleman challenges for the board to review. Coleman is currently up by 362 votes, but that is likely to change as the board reviews Coleman challenges.

FiveThirtyEight analyzed the results from the challenges so far and says Franken's success in his challenges could be a good sign or not mean much at all.
There seems to be something of a consensus that these results represent good news for Al Franken, as a fairly high number of his challenges were successful. For a variety of reasons, I am less than certain about this, and think that we haven't yet learned very much about the ultimate outcome of the recount. 
For one thing, the information provided by the Star Tribune is incomplete. We now know something about how the challenges ended up, but we don't know anything about how they began. That is, we don't know what the initial ruling on the ballot was at the county level, nor the reason for the challenge.
They still have Franken as the favorite in the recount, but that is based on the counting of wrongly rejected absentee ballots. Read the full analysis here.


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