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. Ian Minneapolis, MN

    I voted libertarian!

    November 20, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  2. Anna, Missouri

    Pete, actually, I am a "recovering" republican that was stupid enough to vote for Bush in 2000, personally I was for McCain in 2000. I didn't vote in 2004 due to health, and am now a proud Obamacan. The earlier the Republicans learn that there are many of us out there that are sick of the neocons and the religious right wing, the better chance they have of winning us back. McCain made the mistake of going to the right and that is why he didn't get my vote. I made that decision before ever hearing of Palin, but she was just more proof of why the Republicans are in so much trouble.

    November 20, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  3. Connie

    Go, Al!

    November 20, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  4. Kevin from KC

    Some people on here are just plain ignorant. Recounts ALWAYS favor Democrats, because undervotes (marking the ballot wrong) typically come from demographics that vote Democratic, such as first time voters and lower educated voters.

    There is no mischief going on here, they're simply following Minnesota STATE LAW to determine the intent of voters who "undervoted."

    All you conspiracy nuts need to take a chill pill.

    November 20, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  5. dejah thoris

    What an impressive bunch of sore-loser right-wing commenters in here. The recount is legally mandated, so all your pissy whining about people stealing a vote is misguided. NO wonder the GOP is losing face among Americans - all you can do is piss and moan.

    November 20, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  6. trying to be reasonable in WV

    Let the votes be counted carefully and in accordance with Minnesota law. Let the process by supervised by neutral or partisan-balanced observers. Then let the loser and his supporters shut the heck up.

    On with the business of the country!!!!

    November 20, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  7. Nobody Has Won Yet!

    Coleman has not won the election. There is no certifiable winner. While the results from the Nov. 4 election were certified and show Coleman with a slight lead, his lead was not big enough to prevent an automatic recount BY LAW. The candidate in the lead after the recount is certified will be the winner.

    BTW, I just love "Law and Order" Republicans who only care about law and order when it applies to somebody else.

    November 20, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  8. Rick

    In the period of time when Coleman's lead dropped from about 600 votes to just over 200 votes, despite 100% of the votes having been counted, there were 3 times as many error/changes reported in favor of Franken than for any other candidate in MN. This is also the closest race. Can anyone spell F-R-A-U-D ???

    November 20, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  9. Dave

    Of course, the fix is in.

    November 20, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  10. JoeBrown

    Go Franken! I hope he wins this recount. There are large numbers of 'rejected' ballots that were not counted in the biggest democrat counties since the machines could not read them. What's up with republicans always trying to go to court to throw out ballots?

    November 20, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  11. Dave

    dejah thoris- where do you think the right wing learned to piss and moan? from the left. they both do it so well.
    get real everyone. you are being duped by the two party scam.

    November 20, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  12. Sylvie Flynn

    The recount is legaly mandated! Stop whinning!

    November 20, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  13. Todd

    I live in Minnesota and Coleman has been a very ineffective senator, he doesn't deserve to be re-elected. I hope Franken gets a chance and if he blows it he will be elected out. Coleman went astray by paying more attention to his own political aspirations (Bush Lapdogging and chasing Kofi Anon). He should have been focused on the state he was elected to serve.

    November 20, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  14. Latina-Indepedent-4-OBAMA

    @ GARY......... And what would you call "Florida 2000" ....... the Democrats have never been jailed for voter fraud! But......... look up Allen Raymond, a former-GOP-operative who wrote the book "HOW TO RIG AN ELECTION" ........THEN about cheating!

    November 20, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  15. creighton

    Once again the GOPers display their ignorance and attempt to distort the facts. The only news and opinion they get comes from El Rushbo, Hannity, O'Reily.

    The State law of Minnesota requires the vote be recounted, due to the closeness of the election. Coleman declaring victory is an affront to the laws of his own state.

    Get a grip you right wingnuts.

    Go AL!!!!

    November 20, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  16. W O W WO W


    November 20, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  17. Jeff

    Are you friggin kidding me? Al Franken – what a joke.

    November 20, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  18. Aliou

    go al.

    November 20, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  19. Joe Regis

    The Dems need to get to at least 60 for now and 65 senators later, and then to stabilise at around 70 senators in subsequent elections. The repubs should have about lest than 1/3 of the senate seats in the chamber for about 2 decades; time enough to adjust thier policies.

    November 20, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  20. Aliou

    Regan was a comedian remember? sour loser!

    November 20, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  21. DX in TX

    One, two, three, that a 5 or an 8? Oh shoot, I have to start over...Let's be done with this already

    November 20, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  22. Debbie

    Republicans just hate it when all the votes are counted.

    November 20, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  23. Arariel


    November 20, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  24. Trish Hussein - PA

    I hope Frankin wins. The repugs have their Arnold, God Bless there silly little souls. We need an Al Frankin in our party. The guy might surprise you. At least he will put a little humor into the terrible state of the world. Remember, this is the guy who penned the masterpiece, "Rush Limbaugh is a big fat idiot." He can't be all that bad.

    November 20, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  25. Independent

    Kevin from KC: Interesting theory. Do you have a source?

    November 20, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
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