ST. PAUL, Minnesota (CNN) - Their self-imposed deadline was this Friday. But the panel weighing disputed ballots in the year's lone unresolved Senate race now faces an end date as uncertain as that vote's outcome.
Secretary of State Mark Ritchie and the four other members of the state's canvassing board resumed their deliberation over challenged ballots Wednesday morning, as the race between Republican Norm Coleman and Democratic challenger Al Franken remains too close to call.
When the panel began the day Tuesday, approximately 1,500 challenged votes sat before them. The group made it through just over 160 of them, the majority of which went to Coleman. That was an expected outcome - original decisions are considered unlikely to be overturned, and the challenges being considered first came from the Franken team.
The board's goal, Ritchie said Wednesday morning, is to make it through the Franken pile by the end of the day.
The challenges included about 450 from the Franken campaign, and about 1,000 from Coleman's team. But as of Tuesday night, the Franken team withdrew about 80 of their challenges. The Coleman team also says they plan to withdraw more challenges - but Coleman spokesman Mark Drake said they're planning on adding roughly 200 to the list as well. There has been no final word on whether Franken will also include additional challenges.
Also Wednesday, the Minnesota State Supreme Court will hear arguments from the Coleman campaign, which has asked for the counting of improperly rejected absentee ballots to cease - at least until, as the argue, a "uniform" method for counting them is put in place by the state's canvassing board.
Two State Supreme Court Justices also serve on the canvassing board. Chief Justice Eric Magnuson and Associate Justice G. Barry Anderson will abstain from the court's proceedings Wednesday, reducing the seven-member court to five.
I hope Al can screw his way into the Senate; we need another comedian in Congress since there aren't nearly enough in there already!!! Isn't it great to have a House and Sentae full of the Three Stoogies (Reid, Pelosi, Kennedy, Kerry, Murtha, and, hopefully, Franken!
Spread Head, Just like in 2000 and 2004, it is the Democrats who are not accepting the election results and are trying to win in court what they couldn't win at the ballot box.
For Karen in Phoenix about getting this right. Mind your own business and worry about Arizona. Al Franken is an idiot and we do not want him in Minnesota! He's the real crook and is trying to steal the election from Coleman who is the legitimate winner.
I hope Al can screw his way into the Senate; we need another comedian in Congress since there aren't nearly enough in there already!!! Isn't it great to have a House and Senate full of the Three Stoogies (Reid, Pelosi, Kennedy, Kerry, Murtha, and, hopefully, Franken)!
Time for ' Stuart Smally' to concede.
Todd December 17th, 2008 2:03 pm ET
I'm not from Minnesota but I do have family that lives there. I surely hope for their sake that Franken does not become their senator. If that happens, voters from Minnesota will become the laughing stock of the country as people across the country begin to wonder what kind of people could possibly elect a total jerk like Al Franken.
Tell me Todd. Why is he a jerk? Because he's a person that writes comedy? I doubt it. The real reason is he's a Democrat who's actually putting up a challenge to an incumbent Republican who dares to speak against the "ditto heads" and Shammity lemmings in their warped philosophy. What gave Arnold the right to become governer of California? His acting?? What about Fred Grandy from Iowa? Surely Gopher from "The Love Boat" was a truly deserving GOP nominee. And Sonny Bono? What do all of those 3 have in common?? They are Republicans. Did you have a problem with them being elected? Not likely. The hypocrisy from the right (and I mean that figuratively) is astounding
AMERICA, THE LOST WERE ARE THE GOOD AND THE BRAVE ? TO
LEAD YOU BACK TO THE SPIRIT OF THE PIONEERS...
QUESTION THE BLAGOJEWICH SCANDEL...ARRESTED BUT NOT
CHARGED...WHAT IS GOING ON ? IS THIS MAN BEING BY THEM
They are going to keep stalling till they find away to put the democrat in. Listen up folks, the people have spoken and the REPUBLICAN won so get over it and let it go!
I dunno if you really want to go there. We've been asking what kind of people could vote for GWB...TWICE!!!...for the past 8 years. At least Franken has obvoius intelligence.
You may retract your statement now.
Wrong. The number of votes disputed by Coleman and Franken that are now being reviewed was about equal. Franken went to court to have votes counted that were being ignored and should be counted. That's called defending peoples' right to vote. Franken in no way fabricated fake votes to be counted for himself or prevented votes cast for Coleman from being counted. In fact, most images of the challeneged ballots posted on the net show Coleman challenging significantly more obvoius votes cast for Franken. His plan is to set it up to look like the Sec. of State's office (the Sec. of State is a Dem) reviewed all the votes in a biased manner by rejecting most of Coleman's frivolous challenges.
Edit: I forgot...Franken pulled some of his challenges, so the number dispouted by Coleman was much larger.
What happens if after al the counting and recounting it ends up as a tie?
"Whoooo go whoever the democrat one is!" Are you kidding?? Who posted that??? People like you just shouldn't be allowed to vote. What am I saying, you probably don't anyways. Thank goodness.
I fear that this strategy of counting all Franken's ballots before counting Coleman's will inevitably introduce bias and should have been avoided.
Also, anyone that claims one party is any worse than the other is a dipshlt.
Everything I've seen leads me to believe that Coleman is the winner. I'm a liberal and wish it wasn't so, but facts are facts and Coleman has more votes, ever slim the margin.
I was raised in Minesota and went to school with Al Franken. He was aloser then and nothing has change. I thought my relatives in Minnesota had more smarts than to vote for him. I am ashamed that I am from there.
The GOP losers out there are complaining about Franken....LOL.
Did they know corruption charges have just been filed against Coleman?
Neither are great candidates, but I'm voted for Franken.
Also note......Coleman...NOT Franken is the one trying the most to get votes thrown out.
Obviously both sides put forth candidates that could not win the majority. With that said, I would rather have Coleman