Comparing the recounts: then and now

  • Updated: November 3, 2010 - 4:22 PM

Yes, we're in the same place as in 2008, facing a statewide recount. But the starting point this year is different in many ways.

Vote margin

2008: Republican Norm Coleman led by 725 votes the morning after the election. He eventually lost by 312 votes.

Now: DFLer Mark Dayton leads Republican Tom Emmer by 8,854 votes, with all precincts reporting.

Ballots cast

2008: Since it also was a presidential election year, the number of ballots cast in 2008 was significantly higher than this year. There were 2.9 million ballots in 2008.

Now: 2.1 million ballots.

State Party Chairs

2008: The GOP chair was Ron Carey.

Now: Carey stepped down in 2009 and was replaced by Tony Sutton, who already has signaled a more aggressive, combative approach to the recount. The DFL chair is the same: Brian Melendez.

Absentee ballots

2008: Absentee ballots were at the heart of the vote-shift in the 2008 recount. Two months after the election, the secretary of state's office counted 933 absentee ballots that the campaigns agreed were wrongly rejected. Franken's lead grew to 225 votes as a result.

Now: Earlier this year the Legislature made changes to the absentee ballot law with the aim of reducing the confusion over the process of voting absentee and making the acceptance or rejection of absentee ballots more uniform in counties around the state. If that law succeeded in reducing errors, as intended, then absentee ballots may not play as big a factor in this recount.

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