November 20th, 2008
10:04 AM ET
10 years ago

Minnesota recount resumes, Franken makes gains

Coleman and Franken are separated by less than 200 votes.

Coleman and Franken are separated by less than 200 votes.

(CNN) - Vote recounting resumes Thursday in Minnesota in the battle for Norm Coleman's US Senate seat. The recount kicked off yesterday and could extend into next month.

Unofficial results from the November 4th election put Coleman, a freshman Republican senator, just 215 votes ahead of his Democratic challenger, Al Franken, known across the country from his days on Saturday Night Live and from his years as a talk show host on Air America, the progressive radio network. The slim margin for Coleman, far less than one half of one percent, triggered an automatic recount, the first time there's ever been a recount of a US senate race in Minnesota.

Now election officials, at 107 sites across Minnesota, are beginning the long process of recounting all of the ballots. They're surrounded by election observers and lawyers from both campaigns, and the media.

According to the Secretary of State's office, 15.49 percent of the more than 2.9 million votes cast in the election were recounted yesterday. It appears Franken made a dent of 43 votes into Coleman's lead of 215, according to the results posted on the Secretary of State's website. The site also reports that 115 ballots were challenged by Coleman's camp and 106 by Franken's camp.

The recount will extend well into December. The recount sites across Minnesota have a deadline of the first week of December to report their results. After that the state's canvassing board meets to rule on disputed ballots and to certify the election. And after that, if one side is not happy with the results, legal action could be possible.

Filed under: Al Franken • Norm Coleman
soundoff (168 Responses)
  1. Christine

    Go Al Franken!
    Because you're good enough, you're smart enough, and dog-gonnit, people like you!

    November 20, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  2. Rave

    Who's paying for this ??

    November 20, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  3. Jay

    Here's an idea for you land o lakes, but you can't vote for either of these two nit-wits

    November 20, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  4. Rob

    He's a failed radio host. He can't do anything without yelling and screaming at his opposition like some little crybaby. He was good in bit parts in movies 20 years ago, but flopped in whatever he was the main star in. Unfortunately the only time Franken was funny was when he was coked out of his gourd.

    But then hey, America's already taken a huge step back as of November 4th, why not keep falling, right libs?

    November 20, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  5. Spencer/NY to VA

    Let's say it all together........Fillibuster Proof

    November 20, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  6. GARY


    November 20, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  7. Dave G

    Rave asks "Who's paying for this ??"
    Under Minnesota state law, any vote that ends with a margin of less than 0.5% gets an automatic recount. So the state of Minnesota is paying for it.

    November 20, 2008 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  8. 2000 Supreme Court


    For every vote to count, you HAVE TO count every vote.

    November 20, 2008 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  9. jaye

    I hope Franken wins.
    These republican crooks need to be ousted.
    Why does anyone vote for crooks and liars and dishonesty? WHY?
    I just don't get it.

    November 20, 2008 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  10. New Yorker

    Al Franken will win due to voter fraud and the joke's on us. What a circus!

    November 20, 2008 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  11. Ian

    Go Coleman!!! He is the best candidate....

    November 20, 2008 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  12. Dorothy in NC

    How can the results change each time there is a recount? It seems to me history is repeating itself. Remember Florida 8 years ago.

    November 20, 2008 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  13. Stacy from Loudoun County VA

    I say save the taxpayer up the Metrodome, charge 20 dollars per person and settle this Aaron Burr, Alexander Hamilton style. Donate the money to charity...everyone wins.

    November 20, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  14. Jon

    I'm so glad I voted for the Independent.

    November 20, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  15. Maggie from Virginia

    Go Franken, Go Go Go!

    November 20, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  16. Independent Obama backer

    Why do people in the entertainment industry think they know better than the rest of us and need to go into politics?

    Al Franken becoming a US Senator is about as ridiculous as Rush Limbaugh becoming a US Senator. They both get on the radio and spew their hate for the other side. This makes me sick. We need to come together in this country as Americans.

    Obama is going to be the President for change. He doesn't need hate mongers like Franken on his side.

    Go home, Al Franken. You were funny when you wrote/performed on SNL. You aren't funny anymore.

    November 20, 2008 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  17. ck

    If Franken wins.. then the MN people get what they deserve.

    What an idiot.

    November 20, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  18. arc, Lugano CH

    New Yorker November 20th, 2008 10:22 am ET
    Al Franken will win due to voter fraud and the joke's on us. What a circus!
    Criminal Electoral Fraud is a Republican Tactic.

    November 20, 2008 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  19. Dee

    Minnesota is a circus. Period.

    November 20, 2008 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  20. Marcia, Marcia, Marcia in CA

    Go Franken!!! Kick that weasel out of Washington.

    November 20, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  21. Latina-Indepedent-4-OBAMA


    November 20, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  22. Travis

    If Franken is elected then the people of Minnesota absolutely deserve him and all of the disservice he will give them. When has this guy ever shown any depth an an issue? His gasbaggery is only rivalled by Joe Biden's so he is in good company.

    November 20, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  23. Jorge -- CA

    Let's go, Franken!

    November 20, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  24. Chip

    If Franken wins, I will announce my candidacy. If he can be a senator, anyone can. I never thought he was very funny in his gig as a 'comedian', his AirAmerica show was a flop. All I've ever heard from his mouth is cynical and sarcastic criticism of the policies of the day.

    He makes Keith Olbermann look like an optimist.

    What distinct qualification (other than complainer in chief) does he have for this post?


    November 20, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  25. Steve

    Can you say voter fraud? The Dems will find a way to steal this!

    November 20, 2008 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
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