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. Hirotomi Takemitsu

    I hope Coleman winds up losing. One less Republican would be a great thing.

    November 8, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  2. ran

    Good. Coleman needs to go. Hopefully so will Stevens of AK.

    November 8, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  3. Truth-Teller

    Sen. Norm Coleman must be unseated.

    November 8, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  4. Chuck


    November 8, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    Coleman is no longer needed by the State of Minessota.

    November 8, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  6. Shannon

    I'm a Franken supporter, but I want to win fair and square, or we are no better than the republicans. Al will be good for the country, I just wish I felt the same way about Obama. His vote for FISA makes him no better than Bush, and now we already here rumblings that we won't be leaving Iraq as he promised. We saw with public financing that his word means nothing, so I'm not suprised.

    November 8, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  7. mongo9584

    You gotta be kidding?

    November 8, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    Yes, please count EVERY vote! Here the republicans are trying to suppress the voice of the people, shame on you!

    This election has shown all of America just how low the republicans will stoop to win an election! It's sad!


    November 8, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  9. Coleman must go!

    Coleman OUT!!!!!!! We are sick of you in Minnesota you do not represent us. We know you have cheated. How can you win by 300 votes out of 2.9 milion votes cast??? We don't want somebody who will cause hell for President obama in the senate instead of genuineness. You were Bush's buddy don't think we have ran the nastiest campaign in the nation....OUT!!! OUT!!!! OUT! of our senate.....

    November 8, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  10. Tony

    Throw Coleman out with the rest of the republicant's

    November 8, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  11. RobK

    Why is it always Democrats involved in shady vote counting: e.g. Washington governors race 4 years ago, Chicago every election, now in Minnesota, etc etc.?

    November 8, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  12. democrattotheend

    This is insane! He actually went to court to block 32 votes from counting? Even if elections officials messed up with where they kept the balllots, why should those 32 people lose their right to have their vote counted through no fault of their own?

    November 8, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  13. Denise Groves

    Go Franken.No more members of the GOP are to be elected

    November 8, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  14. Mike

    How is Al Franken allowed to run for office?

    November 8, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  15. Dave, Illinois

    Sounds like some Acorn-generated ballots have arrived just in time. I bet there is quite a reserve left over from the ballot hedge-fund the Dems had on hand just in case.

    November 8, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    I guess so!!!! Smells like Florida 2000.

    November 8, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  17. JJay

    I guess so! Smells a bit like Florida 2000.

    November 8, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  18. stan

    I said the day after the election that the Dems would keep counting until they got the count in their favor. I still have every expectation they will steal this election as they did in Washington 4 years ago.

    November 8, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  19. Felines for Freedom

    I don't understand....why would/should any vote not be counted?

    November 8, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  20. Have you learned nothing?

    Boy oh boy! Here we go again! 2000 all over! Only this time the Dem isn't a wimp like Gore but a tough guy (google the title of his book, won't quote it here). I hope this goes to the endzone, i hope THIS time the Reps wont get their way with the election system...

    November 8, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  21. Keith

    It is absurd that the voting system is so inaccurate that different counts produce different results. Does every vote actually count? Imagine if your bank teller counted your cash three times and got added it up to three different numbers. Would you be willing just to accept the last value given or would you ask to have a different teller? I think we need to replace our system.

    November 8, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  22. Juan Grain

    Coleman will loose.

    November 8, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  23. yen

    Recount is a must. Every vote should count and quickly. They have to do that fast. And let us know the results.

    November 8, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  24. doug lowrey

    what else is new. The republicans stole Florida in 2000. This is no surprise

    November 8, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  25. Larry

    A REAL JOKE !!!! A comedy of Democrats !!

    November 8, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
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