Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Election is Almost Over - We Promise

After a month of uncertainties, here are the latest developments in the fight for Congress:


Republican state Senator Tom McClintock appears to be the Congressman-Elect in California's 4th Congressional District. After weeks of county recounts, McClintock's lead has soared from 400 to 1,800 votes.

Todd Stenhouse, from the Brown campaign, told the San Francisco Chronicle "We're evaluating the results and our options right now and will have more to say in the next few days."


The run-off election for this year's U.S. Senate race in Georgia took place yesterday. Incumbent Republican Saxby Chambliss handedly defeated the Democratic challenger, Jim Martin. Despite the GOTV efforts of former Obama staff in the Peach State, Obama supporters did not come back to the polls on December 2nd - turnout was estimated at 30% - 35%.


The heated race between Democrat Paul Carmouche and Republican Josh Fleming in Louisiana's 4th Congressional District wraps up with the election on Saturday.

Carmouche has taken hits from Fleming in recent days because of Barack Obama's endorsement and radio ad in support of the Democrat - Fleming accuses him of being too liberal and a potential White House pawn. Carmouche has distanced himself from Obama and attacked Fleming for his extremely conservative tax policy ideas.


The recount for the Franken-Coleman Senate race continues. Franken picked up a net of 37 votes yesterday as the recount in Ramsey County wrapped up. Although no one knows what the tally really is at the moment, the Minnesota Secretary of State's official tally shows Coleman ahead by 340 votes.

The Franken campaign, however, has announced their internal tally only shows Coleman ahead by 50. Coleman's campaign would not give an exact number for their internal tally, but says it is "well north of the Franken number."

Still at the center of the issue are rejected and uncounted ballots. For example, at the Ramsey County recount, officials found 171 ballots that were not counted on Election Night - the machine that counted them broke down on Election Day and poll workers forgot to feed the ballots through the machine again when it was replaced. The Coleman campaign is considering a challenge to these ballots.

The Franken campaign, along with the Deputy Secretary of State, is hoping to get the rejected ballots that the State Canvassing Board refused to allow in the recount organized into piles according to why they were rejected - in order to weed out possible mistakes for why they were rejected.

Because both campaigns have challenged so many ballots and procedures, the real tally is impossible to know at the moment. The recount is over 90% completed.


The race between Steve Stivers and Mary Jo Kilroy in Ohio's 15th Congressional District will go into automatic recount following the release of the official tally that was due to be finalized last week. But approximately 1,000 provisional ballots are in question, and a U.S. Court of Appeals has sent the question of their validity to the Ohio Supreme Court.

Both Stivers and Kilroy have been remarkably cordial throughout the process. Stivers currently leads by a few hundred votes.


In Virginia's 5th Congressional District, incumbent GOP Rep. Virgil Goode has called for a recount following his defeat to Democrat Tom Perriello. Circuit Court Judge Timothy Sanner has set the recount dates for December 16 and 17. Both campaigns have begun new fundraising efforts to pay for the costly legal process of recounting.

UPDATE: According to the Franken campaign as of a few hours ago, the Democrat now leads by 22 votes by their count - with the process nearly 95% complete. With the status of thousands of ballots in question "both campaigns are bracing themselves for the near certainty that the courts will become involved," according to the Huffington Post.

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