http://www.startribune.com/politics/national/senate/34736454.htmlMinneapolisStarTribune said:Recount: Norm Coleman’s lead over Al Franken shrinks
By PATRICIA LOPEZ and CURT BROWN, Star Tribune staff writers
Last update: November 20, 2008 - 7:01 AMThe Great Minnesota Recount kicked off Wednesday with masses of volunteers for Republican U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman and Democratic challenger Al Franken moving into a fresh phase of the struggle: eyeballing the first of 2.9 million ballots, ready to pounce on anything that looked questionable.
By day's end, with about 18 percent of the vote recounted, Coleman continued to lead Franken -- but by only 174 votes, notably narrower than the unofficial gap of 215 votes at which the recount had begun. Franken's gain owed much to a swing of 23 votes in the Democratic stronghold of St. Louis County -- the result of faintly marked ballots and older optical scanners that failed to read the marks.
The figures represent a Star Tribune compilation of recount data reported to the secretary of state and gathered by the Star Tribune.
Campaign monitors from both sides had challenged a total of 269 votes statewide, with Coleman observers disputing 146 ballots while the Franken camp challenged 123.
If that pace continues, challenged votes could wind up being a major factor in a race where the margin is down to hundreths of a percentage point. Challenged votes will be set aside until mid-December, when a five-member state Canvassing Board will review them individually.
In the meantime, local officials in more than 50 locations maintained a steely calm in the face of crowded observation rooms, sometimes over-eager campaign volunteers and the knowledge that they are at the very beginning of a month-long drama that has cast a spotlight on Minnesota and its voting process.
"It's amazing to see democracy in action, isn't it?" said Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, as he stopped by a recount center on Wednesday afternoon, watching officials wheel in pushcarts loaded with stacks of ballot boxes. "Things have gone pretty smooth."
Let's see Coleman Lead was 215. Lead now 174. Δ = 41
Δ / 18% = 227 potential swing to Franken when done?
Ooops it could get really close.