Al Franken and Norm Coleman haven't agreed on a single thing since Election Day and now we are expecting them to come to consensus about absentee ballots? Good luck.
The two campaigns continued the flame throwing and arguing today in a more intense battle than we've seen lately. There was some major spin, finger pointing and clear positioning for future legal battles.
Part of the problem, as the campaigns decide which originally rejected absentee ballots to count, is that the odds of Franken pulling out more votes from the count is better, according to a Star Tribune analysis
. The paper looked at the origins of the ballots and determined that the 93 percent of ballots they reviewed would end up favoring Franken.
So not surprisingly, Franken wants to count every ballot. That conveniently coincides with his attitude since the start: count every ballot. Coleman, on the other hand, seems to be picking and choosing the votes he'd like to count. He also wants to add 654 votes to be considered, ticking off the Minnesota Secretary of State's office.
More from the Strib:
While the Coleman campaign said it had identified at least 778 of the 1,346 that the campaign might agree to, Franken officials balked at reaching agreement on that subset because they were concerned Coleman was attempting to "cherry pick" those most favorable to Coleman.
Meanwhile, a Star Tribune analysis of the origins of 1,251 of the ballots identified by local officials, from 70 counties, suggests they might favor Franken overall. (Note: Their analysis did not include Stearns county, a Republican stronghold)
The Coleman campaign, meanwhile, released its own list late Monday, containing 654 rejected absentee ballots that it wants considered. The proposed additions are weighted heavily toward rural counties and the Twin Cities suburbs where Coleman fared well. While more than 170 of the ballots are from Hennepin County, only a half-dozen are from Minneapolis, where Franken did well. Republican-leaning suburbs Orono, Minnetonka and Minnetrista together had more ballots that Coleman wants to count than did Minneapolis.
Both campaigns tried to spin the other's actions into hypocrisy and cherry picking. Coleman's camp says Franken is a hypocrite because he doesn't want to count these 600+ ballots he wants to add to the mix. Franken's camp says Coleman is cherry picking votes that will favor him.
When will this end? The two campaigns have a series of meetings with election officials this week to go through absentee ballot choices. Coleman's camp says it will go smoothly, Franken's camp says Coleman is going to make this more confusing and rushed at the last minute.
Can we really believe anything these campaigns say anymore?