December 18th, 2008
07:38 PM ET
10 years ago

MN high court rules on some rejected ballots

MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota (CNN) - Minnesota's Supreme Court Thursday barred officials from including rejected absentee ballots in the recount of the state's hotly contested U.S. Senate race unless both of the candidates and elections officials agree the ballot was improperly rejected.

Incumbent Republican Sen. Norm Coleman and former Air America talk show host Al Franken are caught up in a fiercely fought battle over the recount of ballots from the November 4 election.

Coleman had filed suit to stop the recount of thousands of rejected absentee ballots until a "uniform" process for reviewing the ballots can be devised.

Instead of halting the recount, the court ruled that local elections officials "lack the statutory authority to count" rejected ballots on their own but can do so if they and the candidates all agree that a ballot was rejected in error.

Updated 7:38 p.m.

soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. Rodney Wells

    Okay. So, let me make sure I understand this decision. If one side or potentially biased official excludes a ballot for a frivilous reason that a reasonable person would accept, the vote continues to be rejected if they will not change their mind and be object and unbiased? In politics, I am suuuuuuure that will happen! How about having that decided by a non-partisan group or official. Kind of like a ref in football or basketball.

    December 18, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  2. Peggy

    Are you kidding me? Do you think Coleman will accept valid Franken votes? He has shown he will do anything to win. Hopefully Coleman will end up in jail for his illegal activities, and Minnesota can have a special election!!

    December 18, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  3. This is a joke, right?

    Ok...this is MORONIC!

    I have nothing against Mn, but this will certainly go down as one of the most unconstitutional judgements ever. Let's make this very simple for those that don't get it:

    "In Minnesota we vote, and then other people vote on whether our vote counts. Only if we have 100% of the second vote agree, do we actually let your vote count. If they don't agree that everyone's vote matters, then we throw away your vote and rob you of your rights...because we are in Mn!! Ha ha, and you thought your vote mattered, screw you all!"

    What a load of CRAP that is!

    December 18, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  4. HouseDiva


    Let Coleman and Franken choose pistols at dawn as far as I'm concerned....i don't care who wins now...they're both pricks!

    December 18, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  5. Valerie, NY

    why is Al Franken even doing that good? are people that stupid in minnesota that the votes are that close?

    December 18, 2008 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  6. Gordon Shumway

    When one of these guys finally gets to claim the victory, if it is after the normal swearing-in time, do they get the tenure retroactively?

    December 18, 2008 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  7. John

    Oh, this is *really* fair. So all Coleman has to do is reject all of the mistakenly-rejected ballots to prevent Franken from picking up any votes? That makes a lot of sense.

    December 18, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  8. John

    This looks like another minority party (the republicans) trying to use the courts that were mostly appointed by republicans lately to give them the election instead of counting all the votes!

    December 18, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  9. steve for positive change

    Looks like the Dems behind the 8 ball again. So sad. 😦

    December 18, 2008 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  10. J-Syxx

    Appeal this bs. What kind of ruling is this?

    December 18, 2008 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  11. Matt

    Indications are that Franken would be 8% ahead of Coleman in those votes. I tend to doubt Coleman is a big enough man to place the will of the people above his ambition.

    December 18, 2008 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  12. Dude

    Al Franken? Are you serious? What a loud-mouthed obnoxious idiot he is. Oh that would make him a typical liberal then.

    December 18, 2008 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  13. Will18E

    The real issue is neither Franken or Coleman.
    It is the voter who voted. And their ballots deserve a hard second look.
    If you file you 1040 tax return and check a box by mistakes, the IRS will still cash your check, and fix your error.
    Filing taxes is compulsory.

    Voting is a right.

    December 18, 2008 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  14. No incumbents 2010

    Can't Democrats do something as simple as vote correctly?

    December 18, 2008 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  15. Gene

    I would love to see some of these people counting the votes on "are you smarter than a 5th grader"

    How hard is it to count votes? I'll personally make Minnesota an offer. Package up all the ballots, send them down here to California.. and I promise you that you'll have every vote counted and accounted for in 1 day.

    December 18, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  16. Paul

    It's simple. Just count the votes!

    December 18, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  17. SAGG

    What? Huh?

    December 18, 2008 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  18. Irritated in Fl

    This country's voting methods badly need restructuring. With the fraud and partisan methods of rejecting valid ballots, I for one am not confident in the present system. It was either India or Irag that had a fail proof system. The voter's finger was dipped in Ink, therefore prohibiting that person's ability to vote twice. ALL voting should be performed on the same day and measures taken to prevent the rampant fraud that has been plaguing the present system. This race in Minnasota is a joke. The Republican won and every trick in the book is being played to prevent that from happening. What a sham the Democrats are pulling!

    December 18, 2008 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  19. tom

    a minnesotan here -–coleman must go one way or another

    December 18, 2008 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  20. George Ennis, Toronto, Canada

    What are the qualifications to be a judge in Minnesota? If this ruling is any guide not high.

    If I understand this correctly unless all parties agree that the absentee ballot should be counted then it will not be? Hmmm let me guess if the ballot is for my opponent I will not agree?

    So effectively the court has handed a veto to the candidates as to which ballots should be counted. That is plain nuts!

    December 18, 2008 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  21. oblamo

    If they are too stupid to put the mark inside a circle then the vote shouldn't count what is the problem?

    December 18, 2008 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  22. Jack Jodell, Minneapolis, MN

    Coleman and his people just want the quick way out, anything so he can take the election. Whether or not people were wrongly or mistakenly disenfranchsed means nothing to him or his people so long as he is declared victor.


    December 18, 2008 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  23. Joe

    Stupid ruling.

    December 18, 2008 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  24. I Toldyouso

    Hey Valerie,
    I hate to burst your bubble but just because someone is a comedian does not mean that they lack the intellect to run for and be elected to public office. As a matter of fact, I really lthink that many of our television comedians are better suited for public office than the typical greedy, dishonest, egotistical leeches who now occupy such offices.

    December 18, 2008 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  25. Sherrol in Canada

    Get it over with already.

    December 18, 2008 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
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