November 9th, 2008
10:00 AM ET
10 years ago

Franken sees boost in nail-biter election

Former President Clinton campaigned with Al Franken a week before Election Day.

Former President Clinton campaigned with Al Franken a week before Election Day.

MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota (CNN) - In a move that could be seen as a benefit to Democrat Al Franken, a Minnesota judge Saturday denied a request from incumbent Republican Sen. Norm Coleman's campaign to block certain uncounted absentee ballots from being counted in a race separated by–at latest tally–just over 200 votes in Coleman's favor.

That slim margin has narrowed since the first tallies earlier in the week. In total, almost 3 million ballots were cast.

According to the court request, the Coleman campaign sought an "emergency temporary injunction" preventing election officials from unsealing, opening, or tallying any absentee ballots that were not inside an official ballot box by midnight election night.

Specifically, the Coleman team was looking to block 32 uncounted ballots from the city of Minneapolis, according to the campaign in the request. They say they were notified late Friday night that these ballots were to be counted the next day.

In a statement, Coleman recount attorney Fritz Knaak said the purpose of the request "was to secure those ballots until we could receive some kind of testimonial assurance, some proof, that they hadn’t been tampered with, that they had been secured and that there will be no question in the mind of the electorate that there had been any wrong doing."

Ramsey County District Court Judge Kathleen Gearin turned down the request "for lack of jurisdiction."

Franken spokesman Andy Barr called it a "sneak attack" on the part of the opposing campaign because he says no one in the Democrat's campaign found out about the motion until an hour before the court hearing on Saturday.

"They are, to us, pretty clearly trying to do whatever they can to cast doubt on this extremely routine process of canvassing and checking the tabulations and trying to freeze the votes where they were election night where coleman had a [greater] lead," Barr told CNN.

Minnesota law mandates a recount when election results are this close.

Filed under: Al Franken • Minnesota • Norm Coleman • Popular Posts • Senate
soundoff (307 Responses)
  1. mitch

    as it should with the history of republican voter suppression and obvious miscounts.

    November 8, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  2. TT

    Nice try Norm....let's see where things stand after ALL
    the votes are recounted.

    November 8, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  3. Abe from Iowa

    Coleman knows he will lose the election if there is a recount

    November 8, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  4. Democrat voting for McCain

    Surprise, surprise. Phantom Democratic votes appearing for Franken. Shocked, I tell you, I am SHOCKED!!! Poor Minnesotans if they end up with Al Franken as their Senator. Tells you a lot about Minnesota voters who vote Democratic.

    November 8, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  5. Steve in PA

    LET'S GO AL!

    November 8, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  6. Ron of Baltimore

    Sen. Coleman needs to wait this one out. Franken appears to have some excellent ideas, is quite articulate, and an honest, hard worker. Coleman should be happy for the state!

    November 8, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  7. arby

    It looks like franken has brought in the "experts" from King County, WA (see the 2004 Governor's race) to help with the vote manufacturing...

    November 8, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  8. JEFF

    All ballots needs to be counted

    November 8, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  9. JEFF

    All ballots need to be counted

    November 8, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  10. Dilligaf

    Leave it to the Duhmicrats to steal yet another election. A dorm at a college in Milwaukee had about 1,200 residents, and over 2,300 votes from that address. Note shrug of shoulders, and "wink, wink" from the election committee there. If it's not ACORN, it's the election officials (LOLF!) themselves stealing votes. This country is spiraling down the toilet so fast. And after just 4 years of the moron that was elected, we'll be ready for the Big Flush!

    November 8, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  11. Ghost

    I sure hope it turns up with Franken on top.

    November 8, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  12. Peter (CA)

    Count all of the votes that are valid. If there is obvious tampering, then remove them. Otherwise, count all of the votes. Why do we still argue over such issues?

    November 8, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  13. Taff

    Republicans should know that no dirty tricks will be tolerated this year. This is the year when democracy triumphs and no Karl Rove-ism will tilt the ballot this year.

    November 8, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  14. facts are facts

    If Coleman goes down it will be another positive for America.

    November 8, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  15. John E Lexington KY

    Coleman needs to repeat what James Baker said in 2000 : "This count every vote thing is killing us." Remember where that got us. How about you count all the ballots and the winner takes office.

    November 8, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  16. Annie, Atlanta

    Is anyone else out there sick of republicans trying to use the courts to gain elective office? Just count all the votes already. Is that too much to ask for in our democracy?

    November 8, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  17. jane in Columbus,ks

    Sounds like the repubs again trying to suppress the vote. Will they ever learn?

    November 8, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  18. Dawn

    so who will play him on SNL?

    November 8, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  19. Ron/DC

    No shame in their game - the Sol Alinsky school of politics, whatever you need to do to win. They will figure a way to cheat Coleman out of this seat.

    November 8, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  20. red33,cedar rapids, ia

    With all the voting fraud there is going on, and the liberal judges and officials who have the power to 'block' recounts, etc., of course, the democrats are going to win the 'close' ones. We have it right here in Iowa. These 'provisional' ballots are a joke, and the fact that you can use a parking lot or park for an address just invites fraud, and believe me, there are plenty of 'people' out there who would do anything to win.
    Other elections have proven this. If Al Franken wins in MN, this tells me the ones who voted for him are alot dumber than I thought they would be.

    November 8, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  21. Victory for Al

    I hope Al takes it. Democrats rule – In God We Trust. Neo-Cons better understand this: GOD IS JUST!!!

    November 8, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  22. KentD

    Maybe Norm should take his own advice and not run up tax payer expense by having a bunch of lawsuits. Coleman showed what a joke he was Wednesday when he claimed victory and that Franken should concede. Let the votes be counted! Oh, that's right, in the Republican's form of democracy, we don't actually count the votes.

    Coleman – a fraud.

    November 8, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  23. Dan

    Same old democratic machine politics. If you're losing, fabricate votes the old school Chicago way. From Florida to Minnesota the Dems will cheat to win

    November 8, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  24. J Williamson

    The old Republican song and dance – ring that curtain down before all the votes can be counted.! Absolutely shameful!

    November 8, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  25. Franken is a fool.

    Franken is a total doofuss and actually the Democrats don't even want him in Washington. They are praying he loses and he will.

    November 8, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
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