It looks like they might finally be slowly getting close to a decision in the Minnesota Senate race between Al Franken and Norm Coleman. (Yes, there are a lot of modifiers in there.) The canvasing board there has almost finished certifying the challenged ballots, which have put Franken in the lead for now.
This doesn’t mean that Franken will definitely win, although Nate Silver does think that the odds are looking up for that outcome. As he points out, Coleman’s challenge of the possible duplicate ballots, which are complete toss ups with regard to who they voted for, does show a certain amount of desperation on Coleman’s part. Especially since both campaigns and the Minnesota Secretary of State agreed on the method of handling them before the recount started.
But while Franked is in the lead now, by around 250 votes according to the Star-Tribune, that may not last. There are thousands of ballots that both campaigns challenged, then withdrew their challenges after the canvasing board asked them nicely. Those ballots have not been put back in the totals yet. And no one knows who will get how many of those votes.
I have to say, while I have seen many complaints about the process, especially from Republicans since Coleman’s lead has shrank and vanished, the entire process seems to be very well done. There have been representatives from both sides present everywhere, the canvasing board has been very focused on making sure every vote gets counted that should (Not sure I agree with them on the Lizard People ballot, but they are the bosses.) and everything has been extremely transparent.
Not only can you watch the board on live streaming video, but all the ballots have been online, along with exactly how the board has decided each of them. The Star-Tribune has done a wonderful job keeping all the information available to the public. This is nothing like the fiasco in Florida in 2000.