The rules of recounts
Here are highlights of the upcoming Minnesota's U.S. Senate race recount:
-- Every one of the 2.9 million ballots cast in the U.S. Senate race will be examined individually by local or state elections officials at 107 sites statewide.
-- Under state law, the officials' job is to determine the candidate each voter intended to select. For instance, some voters do not fill in an oval by a candidate's name, perhaps using a check mark instead; a ballot-reading machine would not count the vote and the law requires officials in a recount to decide each voter's preferred candidate.
-- Either campaign can challenge an election official's decision about who the voter intended, which requires the ballot to be placed in a pile that eventually will be examined by the state Canvassing Board.
-- Every recounting site is open to the public, although only elections officials are allowed to touch the ballots. Campaign representatives will sit near the officials.
-- Both campaigns have said they probably will have multiple volunteers at each counting site, including lawyers.
-- By 8 p.m. each day of the recount, the secretary of state plans to update vote totals at www.sos.state.mn.us, including every precinct recounted to that point.
-- Once recounts are done, challenged ballots will be sent to St. Paul, where the five-member state Canvassing Board will examine each one beginning Dec. 16. If there are a lot of challenged ballots, that board's decisions could decide who is the next senator from Minnesota.