November 20th, 2008
10:04 AM ET
5 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. Vigla

    Franken will win this thing ultimately. He is the right person to take over for the late Paul Wellstone. Coleman only won because Wellstone was killed in a plane crash.

    November 20, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  2. Triggidy

    Put them in a sawdust pit. The man who walks out is the Senator from Minnesota.

    November 20, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  3. Truth Hurts

    I know vote fraud did not come out somebody mouth. 2000 and 2004 was major vote fraud on the conservative part!!

    November 20, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  4. pat huntington ny

    will those claiming the dems are stealing this election, please explain in detail, how that is so? It's not surprising that a visual hand recount of these ballots are changing the results. Machines did not read all the ballots. Some people did not completely fill in their scan-tron sheets. But since the law requires a recount, and that the intention of the voter counts, these votes which could not be read by the machines, but who's intention can readily be ascertained by a visual inspection thereof, are properly being counted. So, again, please explain in full, articulate detail, how the dems are stealing this one? Otherwise, pick up all your toys, and go home!

    November 20, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  5. Pete

    CNN, Air America is not known as a progressive radio network, it's known as a liberal radio network. Big difference.

    November 20, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  6. Dylan, Los Angeles

    Wow – this has got to be the closest Senate contest in history.

    November 20, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  7. Pete

    Anna,

    If in fact it is true that the counters have to seek the intent of the voters, then it looks like your boy will win. For only democrats can't figure out how to fill out a ballot.

    And by the way, the ones who were trying to steal the election in Florida were the democrats. The Republicans won the original vote and every single recount done by the liberal media after the fact. The democrats only wanted recounts in the areas where they did well, and luckily the Supreme Court prevented them from doing so. When that recount fiasco was going on it was a circus. With democrats holding the ballots up to a light to see if they could see any signs of light between the dots connecting the chad to the ballot under Gore's name, and if they did, they interpreted that as an intent to vote for Gore.

    Change we can all believe in!

    November 20, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  8. don

    Go Franken! Do not let them steal any more elections.

    November 20, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  9. Biff

    Christine....

    LMAO.....

    thanks

    November 20, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  10. Michael -Ventura,CA

    Go Franken! Same results as in Alaska!!

    November 20, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  11. Rick

    It's the democrat way....lie, cheat and steal until you win.

    November 20, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  12. cat

    Fight all you want Al Franken is going to win...That's just the way it is.
    Nothing Coleman can do about it.

    November 20, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  13. Mike Cairo,NY

    Another joke from the state who brought you Gov. Ventura. Someday, maybe, the folks out there will wake up and realize they're making fools of themselves when they elect an "entertainer."

    November 20, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  14. Dave G, Minneapolis

    Good to see such a tight race between two jokers...
    Neither can claim a mandate given that 15% voted for the independent candidate Barkley.
    And it's funny to hear either side saying the other is stealing votes...they are both using the same tactics against each other!

    November 20, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  15. TyWebb

    "Because I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it, people like me."

    November 20, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  16. Shrimp Barnicles, NJ

    Franken is waisting his time. He will not win even if the votes are tallied 50 times. He should better start looking for vacancy at Saturday Night Live.

    November 20, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  17. frodo

    politics is a joke, so we should elect a comedian..
    Go Al!!

    Maybe that'll teach congress to mess with the public with bailouts and whimsical spending of our tax money. Now if Al wins we can at least explain that it was all really a joke on us...

    November 20, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  18. frodo

    politics is a joke, so we should elect a comedian..
    Go Al!!

    Maybe that'll teach congress to mess with the public with bailouts and whimsical spending of our tax money. Now if Al wins we can at least explain that it was all really a joke on us....

    November 20, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  19. Jack

    Pete, re: Florida – Where do you get your history? Talk about denial...

    November 20, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  20. JJ 123454

    All of you that keep calling the GOP crooks, you are in for disappointment. Democrats are crooks as well, they are POLITICIANS. They are all crooks.

    November 20, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  21. Ian Minneapolis, MN

    Coleman won at first...if it's anyone stealing the election....it would be franken. Now I'm more of a moderate liberal...but I believe that America is about check and balance. We can't have an all democratic government. We saw what happened when it was all republican. We need it fair and balanced. Washington was right, Political Parties is DESTROYING this country.

    November 20, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  22. tom

    mike cairo-–like the idiot entertainer ronny (senile )reagan

    November 20, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  23. Scott

    What's happening in Minnesota and in Georgia should be enough to demonstrate that every state needs to adopt Georgia's policy: If no one gets to 50% of the vote, do a run-off election with just the top two finishers. So much easier than this mess that's going on up in MN, where no matter who ends up winning, the other side will spend the next six years yelling "fraud!"

    November 20, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  24. Liberal and Proud of It

    Let us all hope that the recount is accurate and that the true winner is also the declared winner. Let us all hope also that the Democrat is the true winner. America can no longer afford the destructive political force called Conservatism. Conservatives of days gone by were against the abolition of slavery, the vote for women, the vote for minorities, equal rights for women, equal rights for minorities, the 40 hour week, the 8 hour day, medical benefits for poor children, affordable day care, equal pay for women (got that, Ladies?), medicare, medicaid, social security, regulation of corporations (self-regulation is best they said), regulation of the credit industry (ditto), inspection of imported food, and purchasing cheap prescription drugs from Canada (where they regulate). Not a record to be proud of.

    November 20, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  25. hilary

    Gee, this could go on until 2012.

    November 20, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
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