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. Lynn, MI

    Franken would make a good senator. He's not only an entertainer – he's the author of insightful, best-selling books about political topics. He communicates his views in an understandable, readable manner.

    November 20, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  2. Kathy S. Cloughn

    Minnesota often has three candidates so to have a runoff makes no sense. However, voting for your second choice may make sense. Minnesota law makes the recount mandatory anyway. There is history here. Coleman stole the last election when his opponent, the very popular Paul Wellstone was killed right before election day.

    No hearts will be broken if Coleman loses. His own neighborhood is full of Franken signs.

    Franken, by the way, is not just a comedian, he and his wife are Harvard grads, very interested in politics and very smart. He will be a great senator.

    Minnesotan for Franken

    November 20, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  3. Ken

    Gosh, they just keep finding new votes at every turn!! I can't imagine why!!!

    The democrats are truly the lowest form of life on earth. The ends justify the means to them.

    God help us all.

    November 20, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  4. Ken

    Yes Kevin from KC, because we all know had the situation been reversed the democrats would be screaming bloody murder and demanding investigations.

    That is, after they got done burning buildings and smashing cars.

    November 20, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  5. Beverly in NC

    Franken will win. The Republican Party is finished. They either need to get rid of the religious nutjobs with their hypocritical "Christian" values and throw out all the entire old white men leadership. They to get a grip on the "real" America and it has absolutely nothing to do with their current credo. They are clueless, out-of-touch, and Americans have rejected them completely yet they continue to spread hatred and defend the corruptness they are so famous for.

    They are the Party of values???? They are deluded.

    November 20, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |


    DEATH TO THE AMERICAN TALIBAN!! WE don't need morality police in this country, we don't need a bunch of hypocrytes saying one thing and doing another. I've seen people being beaten on the streets of Iran and Afghanastan because someone didn't like what you were doing something so simple as holding your boyfriends hand, this country will never go down that road.

    Whlie we are at it its time to drop this insane practice of letting cult institutions like christians and mormons going TAX EXEMPT since they invovle themselves in politics and campaigning then its done.

    November 20, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  7. Debby

    Franken is a joke and there are some pretty shady voting going on in that state if Franken has gotten this far.

    November 20, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  8. patriot

    Ian-Minneapolis: What do you mean, Coleman "won at first"?? He did not. The first vote was certified, and the margin was small enough to prompt an automatic recall. No one has won yet–we won't know that until the recount is completed.

    November 20, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  9. But then again I'm an idiot

    Al Franken is my hero.

    November 20, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  10. Wanda in Montana

    Al IS good enough, smart enough, and doggonit we the people like him!

    I'm cheering for Al! He wrote "Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot" and "Lies and the Lying Liars who Tell Them." He's the REAL straight talk express.

    November 20, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  11. sean alleyne

    here are two losers, there is no winner.

    November 20, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  12. Chris, Oakbrook Terrace, IL

    I don't see how anyone can claim the Dems are cheating, this is a legel thing under MN law. Also, all of you who claim it's stupid to elect an entertainer, I point out that President Reagen was an actor...was that a stupid move? Or does it only count as stupid when the actor is a Democrat?

    November 20, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  13. Leo

    To all my Conservative compadres. Do not fret. After Clinton's third term is up and the country has gotten worse than it is now, we will be back in the White House.

    Hannity/Palin 2012!

    November 20, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  14. Larry

    CNN-How could Franken make gains ,if they just started the recount?

    November 20, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  15. Get over it

    And they will keep counting until Franken wins it, just like they did in Washington state 2 years ago. The republican there won the 1st 3 vote recounts and then lost on the 4th and the democrat was declared the victor. Talk about stealing an election.

    November 20, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  16. RobK

    If Franken doesn't win with this recount, the Democrats will just keep recounting until he does. Just like in Washington state 4 years ago in the governor's race.

    November 20, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  17. JRS

    The RepubliKKKan Party is on the way out. You racist, hate-mongering RepubliKlansmen get used to being a sad page in the history books.

    November 20, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  18. Tim

    Actually, Kevin from KC, uneducated voters vote Republican...

    November 20, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  19. Irony

    Count every vote! Only unpatriotic anti-americans want to call it "good enough"

    Neither should concede until it's all done.

    November 20, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  20. mark

    It's amazing how the repubs are crying "foul" even before the legally-required recount is complete. Seems to me that all past questions on vote recounts and suppression have always been aimed at dems (FL 2000; OH 2004). So, Gary, take your "dems are cheating" and shove it up your ballot!

    November 20, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  21. Leah from FL

    Hey Kevin from KC – guess what – your statement is utterly wrong. ask Al Gore about the FL 2000 presidential elections.

    November 20, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  22. Charlie in Maine

    You are good enough, you are smart enough. And Doggonnit people voted for you.
    PS. Riddle: What does the Republican party have in common with our comments?

    A= They are both awaiting moderation.
    Good luck to the GOP my comments will be moderated before they will.

    November 20, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  23. Dave, Central Illinois

    The Dems will want another recount if Franken doesn't get it this time. And, following the example of Gore in Florida, they will only want the recount in Dem-leaning counties. Honestly, what kind of Demwit would vote for an idiot like Franken?

    November 20, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  24. Deanna, MS

    I hope Al wins because America will win. I'm sick of the Republicans. All they think about is themselves, and they're pretty selfish. The only reason they're thinking about CHANGE (hello) is because of Barack and the rest of the country. If they had it their way, they'd keep us in the dark with antiquated Reagan views, while waisting our money. The country has changed, but they haven't.

    November 20, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  25. Gekonge

    Did i hear Coleman is being investigated for corruption? Anyone who has more information on this please share it with us. All i know Coleman loves the Stevens felon from Alaska, and Coleman loved to fish in Alaska sounds fishy to me

    November 20, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
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