The math behind our recount number

by Mike Rose

Reporter Karlee Weinmann and I were both struggling last night with how to report on the second day of the recount. To clear up any confusion on how we determined that Franken got 86 votes closer, I’d like to show you what we did below : -The numbers you see on page one today are the total number of votes for each candidate through two days of recounting, compared with how many votes they received on Election Day in the precincts that have been recounted so far (since not all precincts have been recounted, the Nov.4 vote totals are obviously less than what you saw reported a few weeks ago). -We then took the difference in the two vote totals for each candidate. Both of them have less so far in the recount then they did on Nov. 4, but I believe this is because a large number of ballots are being challenged and have yet to be added to either side. -Coleman has 212 less votes so far than he did on Nov.4; Franken has 126 less. Therefore, Franken has lost 86 less votes, which is why we reported that he edged 86 votes closer. -However, we did not want to report that the Coleman now led overall by 129 votes (This would be the vote difference coming into the recount–215–minus the votes Franken has gained so far). Because of the large number of challenged ballots, it would be really hard to make any sort of guess as to where the overall tally is. What we did report today is that Franken has gained 86 votes, though there are a number of challenges that could change that. The Star Tribune is reporting an overall vote count, though they have their own system and are not using secretary of state data like we are. Mike Rose Managing editor