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Recount recap: Monday's exponential challenged ballots

Monday brought more recount-typical stories and a whole bunch of new challenges. Norm Coleman seems to be adding to his lead, but reports are saying that doesn't say much with the amount of challenged ballots yet to be counted. 

The Minnesota Secretary of State office says Coleman has a 172-vote lead over Al Franken. The Star Tribune says Coleman leads with 210 votes. About 75 percent of the votes have been counted so far.

And when it comes to challenged ballots, the two candidates are neck and neck. Minnesota Independent puts the challenged ballots at Coleman, 1,401; Franken 1,400. Now that's close.

FiveThirtyEight had previously reported on some huge increases in Coleman challenges, but Franken was able to catch up by the end of the day. Watch out for those ballots that are playing hide and seek too. They could raise eyebrows. 

The amount of challenged ballots is causing concern and more delays, according to Minnesota Public Radio.
When the statewide recount began last week, Secretary of State Mark Ritchie said it looked like there would be few challenged ballots. But each day brought more and more objections from the Coleman and Franken campaigns. 
Now, Ritchie said he thinks the campaigns are trying to create a mountain of challenges as a political and fundraising strategy. And, he's worried about the recount staying on schedule. 
"If it stays at this level, there will be 3,000 or 4,000 challenged ballots," Ritchie said. "And if the challenged ballots stay at that level, this will stretch on for a long period of time."
The Star Tribune's editorial board says bring on the courts. Although the canvassing board is made up of judges, they say the group is administrative and final decisions on challenged ballots should come from law and the courts.