Franken: Ballots Missing In Senate Recount

UPDATE: Al Franken's campaign tells reporters that if the missing ballots are not recovered, he will lost his lead over Sen. Norm Coleman.

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports that, according to Al Franken's campaign, 133 mballots have disappeared in the Minnesota Senate race recount:

An uproar Wednesday over 133 mystery ballots that may or may not have disappeared in Minneapolis became the newest controversy to roil the U.S. Senate recount.

At issue was a discrepancy between Election Day and recount totals in one of the city's precincts.

DFLer Al Franken's campaign lodged a protest over 133 votes that it said could not be accounted for during the recount, at a possible cost to him of as many as 46 net votes in his race against Republican Sen. Norm Coleman.

Franken officials sent a letter to the secretary of state's office and Minneapolis elections director Cindy Reichert demanding that the votes from the northeast Minneapolis precinct not be officially reported until a search is conducted for the ballots.

"This is an incredible breach of the democratic process," Franken spokesman Andy Barr told Politico. "That makes 133 residents of this one precinct in Minneapolis whose voices were effectively silenced by this serious error, and it must be corrected before anyone can consider this recount complete or accurate."

On Wednesday, Franken's campaign announced that by their own count, the Democratic challenger is now beating Republican Sen. Norm Coleman.