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. Tippy

    Sounds like someone is trying to make sure the Dem win this
    election, watch they will steal enough to get to 60

    November 8, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  2. Mike

    Minnesota should not disgrace itself by electing this idiot to the Senate.

    November 8, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  3. reginald smith fairfax va

    please franken i hope you win and make bill orielly " s head explode ha ha ha

    November 8, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  4. Tony_N_ATL


    November 8, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  5. Irony

    Any attempt to not count every vote accurately is dubious. No one wants to be denied their right to vote, and no one should be, regardless of the outcome.

    November 8, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  6. arlene, CA

    Recount. I am pulling for Franken !

    November 8, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  7. Jasmine in Germany

    Why can't the States in the USA have a national legitimate system?

    November 8, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  8. Harry

    Go Al go!

    November 8, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  9. MLH

    Imagine an election where the Republican is concerned about unexplained and 'improbable' shifts in vote counts.

    November 8, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  10. Tod in CA

    Aw, shucks, look at those Democrats! Liberal judges are ruling according to what the law actually says again, folks! If the gap is less than a half of a percent and the Democrats want to count some absentee ballots...well, it must be BIAS!

    -Proud member of the VLC (Vast Liberal Conspiracy)

    November 8, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  11. Erik

    That seems rather fishy to me....why block the votes??
    I guess he just doesn't want to seem as close as it really was. Oh well, I'm glad that they are getting a recount!

    Although I love to hear the hypocritical GOPers on here that tell Franken to "move on" and that he lost and not to ask for a recount. For one, I believe that it's the Minnesota LAW that is permitting the recount, not Franken BEGGING for one. Secondly, I find it hilarious to tell anyone to move on or "get over it" when the majority of Republicans themselves can't stop sniveling and whining about McCain losing and Obama "not being THEIR President". How immature can grown adults really be??

    November 8, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  12. Grant

    The tactics of the Coleman campaign are disgraceful. Terrible ads, a distracting lawsuit against Franken, and now an attempt to slow the recount? This goes to show that all Coleman cares about is himself and not the people of Minnesota.

    November 8, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  13. Ron , West Coast

    Count all votes that were cast !!!! .....
    Al Franken in , Norm Coleman " OUT ".......

    November 8, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  14. Wise White Guy

    Stop the suppression tactics. These are the reasons why the Republicans are so disliked right now. That and you cling to policies that simply do not work. Stop the fighting, let the votes be counted, and when its over start working together instead of worrying about what it will mean for your party. The only thing that matters is the country. John McCain's slogan was country first. I didn't see anything in his campaign that supported that is what he actually believes but i am hopeful for the future. First step was a good concession speech. Second step should be to inform all of his supporters, that did not realize, that they threw around a great number of......ok they were lies and wicked accusations with no basis. Start the healing John and come clean with your supporters in a very clear manner. Same goes for the entire Republican party that ran dirty campaigns like John Gard and Liz Dole. Then your party has a chance.

    November 8, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  15. nathan

    This is a democracy and every vote counts, so they should all be counted.

    November 8, 2008 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  16. E.Lewis

    republicans are all tools of Satan!!! They are false Christians! The real children of God are now in control!

    November 8, 2008 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  17. Ridgeway

    The concept of him holding public office is much funnier than any of his routines. Maybe he's on to something he can do which would be nothing.

    November 8, 2008 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  18. jerry

    I was an election Judge on election day in my county. When all the votes are counted, I believe that Franken will win

    November 8, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  19. Nija

    Franken you are the winner. What happened in Florida will not happen to you.

    November 8, 2008 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  20. alvino

    These votes should put Franken below 200 behind. In the recount, when all the votes are counted, Norm may be looking for other work.

    November 8, 2008 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  21. Joe

    CNN+obama+franken=death of America

    November 8, 2008 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  22. Clint, Kentucky

    Psst...Norm Coleman...if you want people to stop comparing you to George W Bush, trying to stop a recount by taking it court is definitely the wrong way to go about it.

    November 8, 2008 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  23. phili

    I really hope that democrats win that senate seat. Even though we have the majority but it would not hurt to add a few more to get things done.

    November 8, 2008 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  24. David Minneapolis

    Coleman used to be a democrat, like joe lieberman. Coleman would have lost to Wellstone if Wellstone hadn't died in a plane crash. Franken and Coleman ran one of the most costly and nasty races in the country. I got so sick of seeing their trash on my television here in Minneapolis. I think this is partially why Franken didn't ride the Obama wave into office. I had a hard time voting for him actually, he didn't inspire me on any level. This should be a lesson to people running around the country. The negative campaigning hurt Franken, while Obama inspired.

    November 8, 2008 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  25. Adriana

    Like always republicans trying to steal the election.

    November 8, 2008 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
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