Jan. 03 absentee ballot for overseas voters

Senate Dem 58   GOP 41   Ties 1
House Dem 257   GOP 178  

Map of the 2010 Senate Races
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strong Dem Strong Dem (57)
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Dem pickups (vs. 2004): (None) GOP pickups (vs. 2004): (None) PDA

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Reid Lobbied Against Appointing Jackson Recount Resumes in Minnesota

News from the Votemaster

Minnesota Recount To Continue Today

Lots of Senate news today. The Minnesota canvassing board will begin counting 900 disputed absentee ballots today that both candidates have agreed on. The board hopes to finish tomorrow. However, Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN) has filed suit with the state Supreme Court asking to count an additional 2000 ballots (from Coleman-friendly counties). If he loses that case, he has promised to file another suit. By Monday morning we should have a final count unless the courts interfere.

Since Coleman has not been certified as the winner, when his term expires today at noon, he will cease to be a senator and will lose his desk on the Senate floor and his office. He will still be allowed to wander onto the Senate floor, however, as this courtesy is extended to all former senators.

More on the Illinois Senate Appointment

Whatever else can be said of Roland Burris, who has been appointed to Barack Obama's vacant seat in the Senate, he certainly has a sense of humility befitting a senator. In addition to naming his children Roland and Rolanda, he built himself a lovely mausoleum clearly suitable for a senator. Only it is not at all clear he will get to be a senator. It is likely that when he shows up at the Senate next week he will be barred from the floor and the issue of his seating will be referred to the rules committee, which will probably delay making a decision until after the near certain impeachment and probable conviction of Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich. If Blagojevich is convicted, Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn (D) will become governor. Ironically, although Burris won't be allowed onto the floor of the Senate, Blagojevich will be, as floor privileges are granted to all sitting governors.

Ritter Names Bennet to Salazar's Senate Seat

Gov. Bill Ritter (D-CO) has selected the head of the Denver public school system, Michael Bennet, to replace Sen. Ken Salazar, who is resigning later this month to become Secretary of the Interior. Bennet has never been elected to public office but he does have some political experience as chief of staff to Denver mayor John Hickenlooper. Bennet, at 44, will be the youngest member of the Senate. He will have to stand for election in 2010 although he is totally unknown in most of the state. It seems like a very strange pick. Hickenlooper and any one of several Democrats in the House would have seemed more natural choices. It will also be confusing, as we will now have a Sen. Bennet (D-CO) and a Sen. Bennett (R-UT).

Paterson Believed to be Close to Naming Kennedy to NY Senate seat

Yet another soon-to-be-vacant Senate seat may be close to having a new occupant. Sources close to Gov. David Paterson (D-NY) say that he is likely to choose Caroline Kennedy to fill Hillary Clinton's seat when she resigns to become Secretary of State. Clinton's term won't expire until 2012, so on Tuesday, when the Senate meets, she will continue to be a voting member of the Senate until she resigns. She has said she won't resign until she is confirmed for her new post.

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