December 4th, 2008
06:58 PM ET
9 years ago

Lost ballots force extension in Minnesota recount

It seems the end of the recount won't mean the end of the Senate contest.

It seems the end of the recount won't mean the end of the Senate contest.

MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota (CNN) -It looks like it will take even longer than expected to declare a winner in Minnesota’s historically tight U.S. Senate race between incumbent Republican Sen. Norm Coleman and Democrat Al Franken.

As of Thursday night, it appears as if the state canvassing board’s unofficial deadline of this Friday will be postponed due to an envelope of about 130 lost ballots from the city of Minneapolis. Deputy Secretary of State Jim Gelbmann said Thursday that, due to the “extraordinary circumstances,” the city now has until December 16 to locate the votes. That’s day the board is set to meet and take further action in the recount process.

“We won't meet our goal to have all ballots hand counted by the end of the day [Friday] unless the envelope returns in the next 24 hours,” Gelbmann told CNN.

Minneapolis Elections Director Cindy Reichert said she’s “not sure where [the missing envelope] would have gone” but that they’re “in the process of looking under everything.”

With most of the ballots recounted at this point, Coleman maintains his slim lead at about 300 votes.

Spokesmen for both campaigns would not immediately return requests for comment.

Filed under: Al Franken • Minnesota • Norm Coleman
soundoff (53 Responses)
  1. Lost in Texas FOREVER

    this will NEVER end! I say put them in a room and let them UFC like fight it out. Whoever walks out is the senator.

    December 4, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  2. Barbara in NC

    Hmmmmm – isn't that Michelle Bachman with an envelope running her mouth – er, running down the street? Hate that woman.

    December 4, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  3. Howard Roark

    A transition team loaded with lobbyists, a cabinet loaded with entrenched Washington politicians…yep, change you can believe in.

    December 4, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  4. fdaddy56

    "It was the Grinch", claimed Al Franken. "He stole those ballots to ruin my Christmas and my chance for a cheesy book deal."

    December 4, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  5. sglman4Obama

    Please wake me up when this is resolved YAWN!

    December 4, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  6. Barbara in NC

    Howard Roark – It certainly beats four more wars.

    December 4, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  7. Drill, Baby, Drill

    Carl Rove has the ballots

    December 4, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  8. Boye

    Well, if he leads by about 300 votes, why are they waiting on 130 ballots to determine the winner. It's unfortunate that we could attain our filibuster proof status but 58 isn't that bad.

    December 4, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  9. will

    the "Coleman ahead by 300 votes" stat doesn't seem to comport with the MN Secretary of State's website, any explanations?

    December 4, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  10. Bert

    They should hold a new complete election. How can we trust the results when they are votes and envelopes that get lost and reappear again....Hold a new election and let the people of Minnesota decide again!!!

    December 4, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  11. Robbin

    what bothers me is that if there was never this recount then there are people whose votes would not even be counted because they were "lost"...ridiculous

    December 4, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  12. jrzshor

    what if the "found" that 130 and then another 130 showed up?

    December 4, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  13. chris @ stl

    I really pity this country!! How can anybody lose such an important thing as a ballot box .... I guess when you hire an incompetant 90 yr old (looking at the picture insert) with Alzheimer's, that's what will happen!!!

    December 4, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  14. NW

    We need UN monitoring.

    December 4, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  15. Barbara in NC

    Chris – not all 90 or 80 year old people have alzheimers. Hope you stay young forever, with all your prejudices.

    December 4, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  16. GloomBoomDotCom

    Franken is an idiot and I guarantee you he will "win". The Dems have no shame. Check out

    December 4, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  17. MainerforHunter

    hey OPRAH ,
    TOO BAD !!!!
    SARAH 2012

    December 4, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  18. Barbara in NC

    Must be cold in Maine tonight – ha ha ha ha

    for Hunter hit the booze really early tonight – or this afternoon – ha ha ha ha

    December 4, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  19. Steve

    This race reminds me of the Olympic basketball game back in 72 between the US and the USSR....the bad guys just kept cheating at the end until they won.

    December 4, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  20. diana panzarella

    A question for President Bush and my fellow Americans.

    Here are a couple of questions I have for the president before he leaves office and a question I ask of anyone who can answer it. My first question president BUSH is how do you sleep at night for what you have done to this country? I would also like to know when are you going to take accountability for what you did by going into Iraq and what kind of idiots do you take us for? My heart goes out for your mother and I can understand her having a stomach ulcer, God knows I wouldn’t want to be related to the most hated person in this country ever!!!!!! Also my question to anyone who can answer it is actually two questions first being why isn’t president Bush and Vice president Chaney being able to just walk out of the White house Scott Freeeeeee????? Why aren’t they being impeached? ( I don’t get it). Also why isn’t vice president Chaney in jail for attempted murder when we have a” famous sports idle going to jail for shooting himself” not someone else himself?????? But our vice president Chaney can shoot another man dressed with a orange vest and say I didn’t see him!!!!!???? I hope all the skeletons come out of the white house closet when all is said and done!!! President Bush you shouldn’t be buying a house to live in you should be rotting in prison. And seeing your new home and it being in the richest part of Texas makes me want to throw up!!!!! You have some nerve to put America in the poor house and live in a mansion I hope you and your family sleep well at night!!! Another thing is what’s with all the laughing and kidding around you know it only makes us hate you more! So stand up and be responsible for what you have done and apologize to this country!!!!!

    Your disappointed, disgusted, irate, fellow American ,you know one of the ones you put in the poor house due to your lack of attention to what was going on in this country to busy I guess!!!!

    December 4, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  21. chris @ stl

    @Barbara in NC .... I apologise for age reference .... It is so frustrating thinking of unimaginable stuff happening these days .... I don't care who wins eventually. But, I want make sure that it is done right!

    December 4, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  22. conservatve

    Bet they will resurface doubled for the DEM!

    December 4, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  23. Ay carumba!

    Please keep the recount honest! This is scary.

    December 4, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  24. Thanks Sarah supporters!

    Great to hear of the Palin wingnuts – yay, 8 years of Dems in power! Thanks guys.

    December 4, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  25. Matt, Chico, CA

    Franken's trying to cheat his way into office

    December 4, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
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