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. John

    I just hope that if Coleman does win, he keeps up his chameleon-like tendencies. Basically, whoever is in power is his master, so if that stays true, he could actually become a decent senator, as opposed to the last six years in which he was little more than a Bush lapdog, long on promises and short on results. Franken might not be the best candidate, but he's certainly a better option than Coleman.

    November 20, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  2. email4kh

    If democrats demand that all the votes be counted accurately, republicans call it "cheating." Figures.

    November 20, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  3. Rob Johnson

    "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, "

    If that trend holds true, Franken will end up winning by about 65 votes.
    In any election that close, the losing side is never going to be happy. Unfortunately, this will probably be a very bitter, drawn-out election.

    Franken isn't the best candidate the Dems have ever run, to put it mildly, but I'll take him over Coleman any day.

    If Jim Martin can pull off the upset of the century in his runoff over Saxby Chambliss, the Dems could actually get 60 seats. What was once a best-case scenario is getting closer to reality every day.

    November 20, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  4. Michael

    Quit complaining about one side stealing this election. Look how close it is. The outcome is almost irrelevant because the other side is going to claim voter fraud whether it is the Republican or the Democrat.

    Although I do find it amusing that people are saying the Democrats are cheating even though a recount is mandated by Minnesota law.

    November 20, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  5. Angie

    Yea. The democrats are the ones known for voter fraud. Right. If fraud is going to occur, it's not going to be Franken's camp that's to blame. Coleman already has some ethics violation charges against him. It's okay conservatives. I understand that McCain's loss was tragic in your eyes. You must be feeling down and angry and bitter. Still, COME ON!

    November 20, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  6. Bob from NC

    Go Al. It will be refreshing to have an intentionally humorous democratic senator from Minnesota instead of the usual ignorant irony provided by the repiglican alternative.

    November 20, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  7. Once upon a horse

    anybody that can write a book that "disses" Rush Limbaugh is alright with me!

    November 20, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  8. ran

    Go Franken. Coleman needs to go away like so many in his party past and present. They are not what this country needs.

    November 20, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  9. Nestor, Austin, TX

    And the Dems say that republicans steal elections. I sure hope that Minnesota (and the US) doesn't end up with a Senator whose only qualification is that he's unfunny.

    November 20, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  10. Rorschach

    OK, Repubs, be honest.

    If Franken had the 215 vote lead you'd be insisting on the recount. You're crying "fraud" but this IS the process. If your guy wins in the end, it's his fair and square. If Franken wins, it's his – also fair and square.

    Quit weenie-whining already.

    November 20, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  11. Shawn

    Find any more ballots for Franken in people's cars that need to be counted? The election is a joke.

    November 20, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  12. Luke Brown, Charleston SC

    Stop whining.

    This is the democratic system. Itmay not be pretty, but it still works better than anything else.

    No one is cheating or stealing anything. Minnesota is counting all the votes that were cast for each candidate, adding them up, and the guy with the most will go to Washington.

    November 20, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  13. Texas Vet

    How long will it take for the governors or the Federal Government to agree to an effective voting system for this Country. The goal is to ensure every vote counts and to make it easier for evey voter to vote.

    Develop a universal ballot format and a standardized method of counting them. We certainly have had enough experience on what does not work.

    Get rid of the obselete voting on Tuesday. Declare a Federal Holiday on a Monday in November and have the polls open for 24 hours.

    Standardize an early voting system for all states and establish a fair voter registration system.

    November 20, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  14. P. D.

    I hope Frankin wins. The fact that Coleman has used evrything to suppress votes is very telling. Doesn't Michelle Bachman hail from Minnesota? How did she every win re-election is beyond me.

    November 20, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  15. Noah

    Anytime there is a recount it is always the Democrats who magically uncover votes. It is pathetic. They are so fraudulent

    November 20, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  16. Tom Bulger

    My brother Joel lives in Minnesota and he thinks Coleman is an empty suit. That is good enough for me.

    November 20, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  17. Michael M, Phoenix AZ

    Well, Minnesota people somehow re-elected Michelle Bachman after her snied statement about running background checks on every Dem for terrorism....She's as much a terrorist as anyone else then.

    November 20, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  18. tiffany in ohio

    i really don't care for Franken because i watched the debates an all three men sucked...but if the Franken choice makes things easier for my President Elect Obama (man that sounds good) then GO FRANKEN!!

    November 20, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  19. Proud American from New England

    Al is cool!

    November 20, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  20. Independent for Obama (so far)

    The people who vote straight ticket whether Democrat or Republican are all a bunch of idiots.

    How can you say one party is all good and the other party is all bad?

    You have to look at the individual running for office and see what he/she stands for. If not you betray your ignorance.

    Partisans will destroy this country. This time it's the Republicans that had all the power and their greed took over. Next time it will be Democrats with all the power and their greed will take over. It's been going back and forth since this country was founded. Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. If you don't believe that you are an ignorant fool. It doesn't matter which party it is. They are all human beings and human beings are prone to greed and corruption. We need checks and balances.

    November 20, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  21. Kel in Auburn, AL

    Let's go Franken!

    The Democrats are the party that says "we'll use government to make your lives better". The Republicans are the party that says "government does't work", then they get elected and prove it.

    Throw the rascals out!

    November 20, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  22. Cynthia

    I think people forget that there are crooks on both sides of the aisle. Have you all forgotten about William Jefferson?!?

    Go Coleman, we do not need Frankenstein representing us good people here in Minnesota.

    The voter fraud in this election here in MN will be exposed.

    November 20, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  23. Al, NY NY

    Steve and Gary both say that this will be a stolen election if Franken wins. If the proverbial shoe were on the other foot, these 2 Faux News, Oxycotin-addict loving lemmings (dittoheads) would be talking out of the other side of their crooked mouths. I would love to see Franken win just so those right wing schills (Levin, w#ore Coulter, OReilly, Shammity) would have to call him Mr Senator

    November 20, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  24. Tired of W, OH

    @Steve & Gary

    How are the dems cheating? By following Minnesota's law of a mandatory recount? Didn't you notice that Coleman is challenging more votes than Frankin? You're just mad that everyone's wise to the republican voter suppression tactics.

    Dems rock the vote, while repubs block the vote.

    November 20, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  25. Truth Hurts

    You GO Franken!! Maybe the true numbers will come out this time around in the re-count!! We are 2 seats closer to a fillbuster proof Senate!! Even if we only get 1 seat out of these two races. There are 2 independents who are leaning toward Dems and we can get at least 1 or 2 republicans to cross over.

    November 20, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
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