It seems that the recount in the Minnesota Senate race will conclude with Norm Coleman still up by a couple hundred votes.
Further, while the Al Franken team will make a big deal about absentee ballots, it is unlikely the courts will agree to count ballots which clearly do not meet the legal requirements for acceptance.
But I don't think Franken really cares. I mean, it would be easier for the Democrats if he could manufacture enough votes in the recount to win, but they have a plan which will work in any case.
The first part of the plan has already succeeded. Al Franken got a judge to violate the sacrosanct rule of the "secret ballot", providing the Franken campaign with the names, and addresses of every absentee ballot that was rejected.
Franken's team has now contacted all those people, asking them if they were Franken supporters. No doubt they are finding Coleman people, but they will be ignored.
The next step will be for Franken's team to get every Franken voter to sign an affidavit asserting that they voted for Al Franken in the election.
Simple probability suggests that about half the rejected ballots will be Franken supporters, so they should easily be able to find over 3000 people to sign.
Normally, this wouldn't be any help. I mean, you could also call registered voters, and ask if they voted, and if not, get them to sign affidavits that they WANTED to vote and WOULD have voted for Al Franken. The courts still wouldn't accept them as actual votes.
But that's not the point. See, the Democrats have control over the Senate. And the constitution puts the Senate as the final arbiter of elections for the Senate.
So next January, when it's time to seat the new Senators, the Senate Democrats will note "irregularities" in Minnesota, and will bring the question up for a vote. And then the affidavits will be presented. And the DEmocrats will note that, while the law in Minnesota didn't allow those votes to be counted, it is CLEAR that those votes WERE cast and were for Franken.
And since the Senate doesn't have to abide by the Minnesota law, the Democrats will vote to count the extra ballots, and award the election to Franken. It won't matter that nobody checked the OTHER absentee ballots. The Media will go along with what the Democrats do, so there won't even be an outrage.
It's happened before -- the Democrats once refused to seat a republican House candidate winner, putting in the losing Democrat instead. And nobody batted an eye.
I suppose the Coleman camp could try to counter this by calling all the absentee names and getting THEIR supporters to sign affidavits. But there's no reason to suspect the Democrats in the Senate would accept them.