The 'lead' held by Republican Senator Norm Colman over Democratic Party Candidate, Radio Talk Show Host, SNL Star, Satirist, Author and Cartologist Al Franken has dropped to 204 points.

You may be wondering how this could happen.

Well, up to today, and depending on which report you read, through the rest of the week, various precincts are double checking the numbers on their vote counts and reporting them to the Secretary of State. The original counts were quick and dirty ... generally pretty accurate and certainly good enough to declare a winner where the percentage difference is five or so points (or even less). That is the starting point. Then, each point of data collection (typically a precinct) checks its numbers, makes necessary modifications, and sends corrected numbers in to the Secretary of State's office. When these numbers are all gathered, added up, and stuff, the election is certified. Meanwhile, there is stuff going on with absentee ballots as well. This leads to the modified number.

This is the process we are seeing now. Don't expect much more to change. I hear tell most of the precinct data are in place and checked, so while there may be more changes most of them will happen today, and there should not be much of a change at that.

However, this second set of numbers is not based on a physical examination of the ballots, but rather, a scan machine counting of the ballots that were hand filled. Well, I understand that in some precincts there are hand ballots that are counted by hand because they don't have a scanner, but that is only a very small number of votes.

According to law, if by the certified count separating two candidates is within one half of a percentage point of the overall vote, a recount is necessary.

This recount involves visual inspection of each and every ballot to determine what the vote meant. If there are any Chads hanging, they are expelled from the area because we don't use punch cards here. We use bubble sheets.

Analiese Miller, famous for her commentary on this blog, discovered that there is a strange pattern of votes for the Senate in this state, whereby about one percent of the senatorial vote may actually be missing from the count even though people actually made the vote, and the amount missing is different in Obama-voting counties from in McCain voting counties. Ana and I made a great effort to pass this information on to voting related officials, party officials, and press, and it may be that this is what prompted a recent AP report telling part of (but not all of) this story. But since AP does not allow bloggers to quote their stuff without paying them, I can't tell you any more about that. Let's just leave it at "AP seems to have stolen Ana's story" but that's OK, because it is only important that the TRUTH gets OUT THERE.

It is reasonable to assume the following: About 10 or 20 thousand, or more, votes will be ADDED to the vote count for this election. If the distribution of votes for one candidate vs. the other is similar to the pattern of the overall election, given the magnitude of the vote, there there is very close to a fifty-fifty chance that Coleman will be declared the winner.

And, there is very close to a fifty-fifty chance that Franken will be declared the winner!!!

However, there is reason to believe that there will be more votes coming in from this unknown zone for Franken than for Coleman. Therefore, we expect Al Franken to be declared Winner, and Norm Coleman to get all mad and sue. He is very litigious, it would seem.

But, no one knows what is really going to happen....

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