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. Don

    I just hope Franken does not have his friends counting the votes. Better yet we hope there are no ACORN people there or have the Dems forgotten about them?

    November 20, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  2. Luke Brown, Charleston SC

    Hmmm ... Those voters who oppose Franken because he is just a washed up SNL comedian are the same crowd who voted for a washed up B-grade Hollywood actor to be our President.

    Doggone it Stuart ... you're good enough for me. Good luck in Washington.

    November 20, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  3. Anna, ATL

    Is it me or do these two qualify for a 'separated at birth' comparison?

    I agree, Dee. From Wrestlers to Jokers, the otherwise beautiful state of Minnesota really knows how to put Characters on their Ballot!

    November 20, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  4. Burton

    The thing is...I still can't understand how there can be so many ignorant, hateful, bigoted, selfish, self-entitled, arrogant and deceitful people supporting the Republican dogma.

    November 20, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  5. Doug

    What a perfect solution to congress – put a comedian in there! They all act like one anyway.

    November 20, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  6. Pat F

    No kidding, Dee! Wrestlers, comics – what's next, Jo Jo the dog-faced boy?

    November 20, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  7. JImmy boy

    how dare the dems cheat by having every vote counted...we should just do the republican thing and get courts to appoint officials

    November 20, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  8. Jason

    All it took for me to dislike Coleman was to see his after election speech. His ego must reach to outer space, even with his statement on how Franken should give up his right to a recount. Does he not know that Franken isn't the one who initiates the recount with it being that close? Do you really want Coleman who doesn't know state law to be your senator again??

    November 20, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  9. Marie

    It's just a recount to make sure every vote that is cast is counted. That's democracy folks. The other side bar comments by both parties and bloggers is the real circus. Counting every vote with clear intent is not being corrupt or crooked.

    November 20, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  10. The New Civil War has begun (Sons of the Founders vs. The Socialists)

    Oh look! Here are some more votes I found in the truck of my dad's old broken down abandoned car! And lookie there... they all support Al Franken! How convenient!

    No voter fraud here. Nothing to see here. Move along. There aren't the droids you're looking for.

    November 20, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  11. MD, TX

    Way to go ACORN. Bring those ballots in from Chicago!

    November 20, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  12. Daniel

    Oh this is rich, watching "Steve" talk about voter fraud like it's endemic to the Democratic Party. Reality check on aisle 3...

    Honestly, I don't really care who wins this, I just don't want a long, protracted legal hullaballoo.

    November 20, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  13. Neal

    Recount win for Dems, give GOP some of their own 2000 medicine!

    November 20, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  14. cmgmaggie

    What a joke! Steal this? You kidding me? 200 votes separates them out of 2million cast. One errant machine, and Franken could be ahead by 2000. This baby's a tossup. Don't start with your Republican vile – we already have heard enough of it from Palin.

    November 20, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  15. Tom in Delaware

    It's like this...if Franken wins this race, it will be the opening of the Seventh Seal.

    Symbolically speaking, that is.

    November 20, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  16. GM from MN

    I like how the GOP sit there and says that the Dems are trying to "steal" this election.

    It seems to me that the GOP are challenging more votes than the Dems.

    I hope Coleman loses by one vote just to smite you losers.

    November 20, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  17. Jonathan

    As a displaced Minnesotan, I know my state is crazy, but seriously... is it not suspicious that every time the votes are recounted, it is in Franken's favor?

    November 20, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  18. Anna, Missouri

    I love it when all of the Rebublicans are worried about Dems stealing an election. Maybe a little "projection" going on here? Anyway, MN has laws that state they must seek "intention" of the voter, which means that if a voter circle a name, or put an X in a box or circle instead of filling it in, the machine may have kicked it out, but now the hand counters will have to count that vote. No hanging chads here folks, just an honest mistake by some voters, and now their vote will count.

    November 20, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  19. GM from MN

    Spencer/NY to VA November 20th, 2008 10:16 am ET

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


    I know it will all come down to GA on Dec.2 if Franken wins here.

    Lookin' good.

    November 20, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  20. tom

    funny how you hear all the repugs talk about the dems cheating when bush would have never had been elected if not for jeb bush cheating for his brother king george. come on republicans you had your chance and you drove this nation into the ground and made us the laughing stalk around the world. we americans have spoken and we dont want bible thumping war mongering republicans anymore.

    November 20, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  21. Alan

    It seems there are several severely confused Republicans visiting this blog. It was the REPUBLICANS who mastered stealing elections. Remember? The REPUBLICANS.

    You might be upset if Franken wins. You might say he's a joke. But the guy is a serious contender.

    Given the way you apparently feel about him (Republicans), just keep in is YOUR PARTY that has screwed things up so badly that Al Franken even had this shot.

    Just think about it - your party messed up so badly even a COMEDIAN can give a sitting incumbant senator a real run for his money.

    Again - it's the REPUBLICANS that did this to you. YOUR PARTY.

    November 20, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  22. GObama!!!

    It is very possible that Chambliss is going to lose the run off, making Martin 59.

    I can't wait till Franken is 60

    November 20, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  23. Jenny

    Dorothy: Votes can change when they are hand counted because the scanner most probably missed some votes. They can be missed because the pencil marks were to pale or the circle not completely filled in. If the counters can see clearly what the voter's intentions were, then they will be added to the count.

    it's as simple as that..... nothing sinister at all.

    And Steve... about voter fraud, I think the republicans still wears the crown regarding that puppy.

    November 20, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  24. Chip

    It would be nice if the CNN filter could be used in Congress for the next four years. Just add to each piece of legislation submitted by Pelosi and her left leaning ilk, Your amendments and legislation are awaiting moderation.

    That could save all of us!

    November 20, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  25. Waukone

    Why when a Dem asks for a recount but when a Repu asks for a recount it is justice???

    If there is someone who thinks that every vote doesn't make a difference remember 2008.

    Count all votes all the time.

    November 20, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
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