December 4th, 2008
06:58 PM ET
10 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. no bailouts

    let them draw straws.

    December 4, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  2. LALA

    America, wake up. How can you be this careless by loosing ballots.
    Ballots are not lost, they are stolen.Please look for the thieves.

    December 4, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  3. Marcia, Marcia, Marcia in CA

    They are on the next stage.

    Good grief...what freakin year is this??!!!

    December 4, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  4. You don't need to know my name

    I still want them to find the ballots that they lost in Florida in the 2000 election.

    December 4, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  5. Xavier

    To hear a republican be sarcastic about ballot manupulation is truly ironic. Can you say Florida? Even after seeing all the misfortune that has befallen us after Bush stole the election from Gore, you still havent learned your lesson. You all wanted Bush so badly, he was what you all viewed as the ideal republican candidate. What does that say about you all's sence of judgment?

    December 4, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  6. Jody Monroe

    Do the math people!!! It's mathematically impossible for the person who is behind by 300 votes to win, if there are only 130 votes outstanding! DUH!

    December 4, 2008 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  7. MBFLA

    Who is going to come and oversee our election process?

    December 4, 2008 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  8. Tricia Maestre

    Xavier...can you say 2004 election when a group of dems in Michigan where caught tampering and forging ballots as well as trying to intimate voters to vote for Gore? And can you think back to Florida and all 4 times it was counted Bush was ahead each time by more and more votes.....OH yeah fast forward to this election can you say ACORN??? and their shaddy practices??

    December 4, 2008 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  9. cobra

    Blame President Bush, he must have them.

    December 4, 2008 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  10. DOCS 3


    December 4, 2008 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  11. anthony brown

    Franken needs to concede the election...something he should have done on election night. Recounting votes until you win doesn't work...take a lesson from Al Gore. After the recount President Bush still won by an even greater margin. Democrats can't accept defeat. I am a republican and conceded that we lost this year and will regroup for next time.

    December 4, 2008 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  12. democrat with a small "d"

    Yeah, Coleman is still winning! The Dems won't ever accept it though.

    December 4, 2008 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  13. Jim Bob

    Just like I said...Franken has to win. The fix is in!

    December 4, 2008 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  14. Dan, FL

    Al Franken must be having them in his pocket. He is an idiot. He shoudl accept his defeat. He is a loser.

    December 4, 2008 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  15. mb

    They need to flip a coin and just maybe with luck. Coleman will loose and the country can move on.

    December 4, 2008 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  16. MN observer

    As a Minnesotan, I truly hope that our legislators look at this fiasco and figure out another way to break ties, decide winners when the difference in their numbers are to close to be statistically sure.

    I don't know if a "run off" system like GA has is the answer or not but it is a lot quicker and I feel it is at least as fair as the nonsense that is going on in our state right now.

    Honest people make honest mistakes but the process that is going on now only makes us look inefficient and stupid.

    December 4, 2008 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  17. Rich in NH

    We have been doing these things called elections every two years for the last 200 years, right? – you'd a thunk that we would have this process nailed down pact , but I guess we're not really serious about elections fraud – I smells a rat in this and am sure we'll "find" more misplaced envelopes in the very near future – shameless. I say it's long overdue for stringing up the people who we actually caught in this last set of congressional and general elections and make examples out of 'em. Those who voted in two locations for prosecute them to the max: if Plaxio Buress gets 3 yrs – these bastadges should get 6!

    Live Free or Die!

    December 4, 2008 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  18. Willy Brown

    Al Franken would be better served if he just walked away rather than trying to get Hary Reid to steal this electon for the failed actor and radio host.

    December 4, 2008 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  19. Larry

    diana panzarella,

    I'll bet he was tossen and turnen,he tossed and tuned all night,he jumped out of bed ,tuned on the light,jumped back into bed it was the middle of the night.That should answer one of your harder questions.
    Chill out,your over the top with your issues,mellow out,it's going to get worse.

    December 4, 2008 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  20. Godluvr

    Today we're gonna count them like it's '1999' – again! When will technology trickle down to the voting systems? Will someone please invite them into the 21st Century? Sigh.

    December 4, 2008 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  21. My2Cents

    What a gross waste of money. There has got to be a better way.

    December 4, 2008 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  22. Richard A. Spomer

    Minnesota is turning into one big joke in which you need to find a pivot man for the continuous participation of a circle jerk! Count what you have, and deal with the other hundred and thirty at another point and quite playing with your selves.

    December 4, 2008 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  23. Denise Groves

    Minnesota! Get your act together!

    December 4, 2008 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  24. TexasAnnie *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*

    @ chris @ stl - before you make disparaging comments about the abilities of the people counting the votes, you might want to re-read the article and see just how good your comprehension skills AREN'T. Nowhere does it say anything about losing a BALLOT BOX. (And I'm betting an ENVELOPE with 130 ballots in it could easily be misplaced considering the mountains of paper in those counting rooms.) Learn to read before posting your incorrect remarks, toots. And, hey, someday you too may be 90 years old– check back with us then & let us know how that's going for you, okay.

    December 4, 2008 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  25. Yes We Know

    Everyone knows that republicans are steal elections so why even bother the recount. Just give this one to them since they weren't able to thief too many this time around with so many people watching them. They are hurting enough, just give them this one for the Gipper.

    December 4, 2008 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
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