November 9th, 2008
10:00 AM ET
6 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. James

    If Franken wins, I am moving out of Minnesota. It would be historic though, because if Franken wins he would be the first clown ever elected to the Senate.

    November 9, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  2. WHAT A JOKE!

    Those of you complaining about ACORN are showing your incompetence. ACORN is accused of VOTER REGISTRATION FRAUD NOT ELECTION FRAUD. Mickey Mouse may have completed a voter registration, but he is NOT going to show up to vote. Only idiot Republican, Neocons believe this. Grow up! You lost, and it wasn't because of ACORN.

    November 9, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  3. Jack from California

    With all the GOP complaining about ACORN, it's the GOP trying to suppress votes.

    November 9, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  4. Chris

    Frankenstein is a clown and belongs to a circus

    November 9, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  5. Frances

    I sure hope Al does win. There were many many close results this
    election and, when you think that 57 plus million people voted for
    McCain, you get a real good idea of how SICK those people really
    are.

    Frances

    November 9, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  6. republicans hate america

    when votes are counted the GOP lose and they know it.

    November 9, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  7. andrea from MA

    judges like when bush stole the election will not let this happen again!!!!!!! bye bye GOP coleman !!!!!!!!!

    November 9, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  8. jj123454

    WHAT A JOKE! November 9th, 2008 12:43 pm ET

    "Those of you complaining about ACORN are showing your incompetence. ACORN is accused of VOTER REGISTRATION FRAUD NOT ELECTION FRAUD. Mickey Mouse may have completed a voter registration, but he is NOT going to show up to vote. Only idiot Republican, Neocons believe this. Grow up! You lost, and it wasn't because of ACORN."

    Except in those places with same day registrations or absentee ballots, how many of those counted.

    November 9, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  9. Mike B.

    mn red said:
    "The dems. are masters at playing dirty and cheating to win. Frankin is a dufuss and a jerk. GO NORM. By the way I hope obama gets a big black ugly dog that will fit in with the rest of the family."

    First of all, anyone who belongs to the party that pulled the shenanigans the GOP did in Florida in 2000 has no business whining about playing dirty. Gee, counting all the votes - you're right, what a dirty tactic. It worked in Florida in 2000, but it's not going to work in Minnesota this year.

    Second, your comment about the Obamas and their prospective dogs is a racist slur that I'm surprised CNN allowed on their website. Such bigoted ugliness is evidence of why the GOP was so roundly trounced in 2008. The GOP won in 2000 and 2004 by spewing hate, racism, divisiveness, paranoia and bigotry. The American people have finally seen through the GOP's line of right wing b.s. Until the Republican party casts out the right wing lunatic hate mongers who mutate even decent men like John McCain into lie-spewing robots, it's going to (deservedly) lose a lot of elections.

    November 9, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  10. Nameless

    Wow! It is amazing to see that the rigthwing Republicans and so called Christians hoping for neo nazi,s like Norm Coleman to previal by whatever means. Go AL!

    November 9, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  11. Tom Peters

    I can't believe people actually voted for this lunatic. If he were funny I coul understand, but he's just a bitter bleeding hear liberal.

    November 9, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  12. Nick

    Give it to 'em Al!! I can't believe you are this close, and to think we may elect two left-wing political jaugenaughts in a single year is inspiring to say the least.

    November 9, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  13. RBG

    Its funny that the GOP has this hard of a time defeating a comedian! Its pathetic how far repulicans have fallen if they can't soundly defeat this show clown. I laugh at them...

    November 9, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  14. Texas Teacher

    Go Al Franken.... he is a genius political mind! I have watched and read all his books! The man knows what is going on and he sees through the nonsense. We need Al Franken in the Congress! Like Obama, he is a man of high intelligence and morals!

    November 9, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  15. L MIAMI, FLORIDA

    GO AL FRANKEN GO

    November 9, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  16. kives17

    Those of you complaining about ACORN are showing your incompetence. ACORN is accused of VOTER REGISTRATION FRAUD NOT ELECTION FRAUD. Mickey Mouse may have completed a voter registration, but he is NOT going to show up to vote. Only idiot Republican, Neocons believe this. Grow up! You lost, and it wasn't because of ACORN."

    Except in those places with same day registrations or absentee ballots, how many of those counted.

    No I think the same issue applies, what is Mickey Mouse's SSN exactly?

    November 9, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  17. Obama/Biden 08

    I love Al Franken, but does anyone else think he looks a little scary in that picture, particularly next to a laughing Bill Clinton?

    That said, go Franken! I hope he wins.

    November 9, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  18. smackem yackem

    If republicans weren't such cowardly slime, Franken would have had this in the bag. Just another example of how Repukelicans try and ruin anything they are involved with. If another conservatard never gets elected I'll will be estatic.

    November 9, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  19. S Ryan

    Coleman will win, Stevens has already won in Alaska, and Saxby Chambliss will win in Georgia…

    It is hillarious that liberals get one of their biggest victories ever and they are still bitter and miserable. Take some advice from a conservative, your problems and your misery are not the fault of the government. They are because of YOU. “Hope” and “change” are something you need to find from within and not from a politician. Your political “messiah” is not going to improve your life. As a matter of fact, all he is going to do is make it more difficult for those of us who are actually happy with ourselves and our lives (and money has nothing to do with it). In your vain attempts to improve your lives through socialism, you have demonstrably weakened our nation and the futures of our children. You will still be bitter and angry four years from now and that would not change regardless of who won the election on Tuesday. For this reason, liberals can never truly “win”. Think about it…

    November 9, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  20. RJ Kruger

    Al Franken is a brilliant, talented and ascerbic social commentator, among very many skills. I hope with all my heart he emerges the victor and goes to Washington to represent the people of Minnesota. In this 2008 general election, we are witness again to the hatred and intolerance of the extreme right-wing of the Republican party.

    These "real" Americans would be deeply benefited by reading the Constitution. It has taken nearly 4 decades for the Wicked Witch to shrivel and recede under the house. There's no place like home, Toto. A hardy cheer for a return to respect, reason and intellect.

    November 9, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  21. kives17

    and also mn red, aside from being a ignorant fool, if you tried to stop people who are duffus' and jerks from taking office I think your fabled Republican party would be fairly low on membership.

    November 9, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  22. Karl T

    So what if he is a bleeding heart liberal. He is a genius he care about
    the country and try's to do the best he can. Liberals do care about this country just as much if not more. At least where not trying to take everyones right away that doesn't' agree with us.

    November 9, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  23. David Evan

    If Republicant's can't admit to what is going wrong in this country why do you think they can admit to an accurate vote count?

    November 9, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  24. wow

    Everyone is too bitter over this. Even though I am a Democrat, I respect the Republicans. First off, both Franken and Coleman are very smart men. Franken is not a clown and Coleman is not a nazi. Anyone who resorts to calling the opposite side these things is just way too sensitive. What happened to clean politics?

    November 9, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  25. Mike, Syracuse NY

    Why is it 'suppression tactics' when Reps question whether votes are valid, but 'following the rules' when Obama got FL and MI primary votes thrown out? If the election laws require absentee ballots to be maintained under positive control to prevent tampering, and they weren't, then they should not be counted. That's why we have rules!!!

    November 9, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
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