December 19th, 2008
11:32 AM ET
5 years ago

Franken takes slim lead in early count

As of Friday morning, Al Franken has a narrow lead over Sen. Norm Coleman, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
As of Friday morning, Al Franken has a narrow lead over Sen. Norm Coleman, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

ST. PAUL, Minnesota (CNN) – Democrat Al Franken currently holds a slight edge over incumbent Republican Sen. Norm Coleman in Minnesota's still unresolved U.S. Senate race, according to a running tally on the Minneapolis Star Tribune's Web site.

The newspaper's mid-morning tally showed Franken with a 102 vote margin over Coleman with several hundred ballots still to be reviewed. On Thursday evening, Coleman had been ahead by single digits.

But the race remains fluid: the results reported by the Star Tribune are an ongoing tally, with hundreds of challenges still to be reviewed Friday.

Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie has said that he and the rest of the four-judge panel who comprise the canvassing board will not end their work day until all remaining challenges have been reviewed.

One major wild card that remains are roughly 4,000 ballots that were originally challenged by the campaigns, who have since withdrawn those challenges. The Secretary of State's office has yet to declare how or when those ballots will be awarded to the candidates.

Another issue: the State Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that improperly rejected absentee ballots should not be tallied unless both campaigns and county elections officials agree the ballot was improperly rejected. It's estimated there are about 1,600 improperly rejected ballots.

(Updated at noon with additional information)

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soundoff (175 Responses)
  1. What a joke.

    This is pathetic. They just keep "counting" until they Franken gets a lead. Then it will stop immediately to let him win.

    I live in Minnesota. Coleman won fair and square.

    December 19, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  2. Jason in New Mexico

    It is funny how when George Bush won in 2000 (or should I say stole) because his brother was the governor of that state and he appointed a republican secretary of state and supreme court judge that allowed him to, the republicans were just fine with that. Now, when it looks like Franken is going to win they are all saying that the "liberals" are stealing the election again!?!? This last election shows two things: that republicans got trampled because they are the obsolete party of the old rich white guy, and they will get slammed again in 2010 because folks like Rush and Hannity think that something is "wrong with the system" instead of addressing the fact that their republican principles are out of touch with most Americans.

    December 19, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  3. Brad Knox

    Why not allow all those who think they may have made the wrong mark on the ballot to go and re-vote now?

    December 19, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  4. Kjetil

    I hope the one that got the most votes win no matter who it is. Every vote should count even if the one that win just win by one vote. I hope that the state is pro and dont think who they support matter who that win. The one that shall win is the one most voted on. :-)

    December 19, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  5. Rae

    I think Minnesota is doing a good job. Count ALL the votes.

    December 19, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  6. reggie

    such a scam. There is no way Franken rec'd more votes than Sen Coleman. If he did, the people of Minnesota deserve it. To me, he's a joke.

    December 19, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  7. FRANKEN RULES

    gO AL...........THIS WILL BE AWESOME....NOW LETS GET COLEMAN IN JAIL, BLAGOOOOVICHHHHHHHHH IN JAIL...AND GET BACK TO THE GOOD TIME HIGH WE ALL HAD ABOUT 3 WEEKS AGO!!!!!!

    December 19, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  8. BS not Maverick

    Go Franken-Stien!

    December 19, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  9. Kevin in Ohio

    Yep, it must feel real good to come from Minnesota where even a hate-spewing idiot like Franken can get elected.

    December 19, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  10. Hanley

    Al Franken is the only non-national or non- PA (my state) candidate to whom I sent money for the last election. I truly hope that he wins this tight race. that's how important I think his presence in Washington will be to this country.

    December 19, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  11. case

    Minnesota is full of awesome people. Franken will win, he can represent them better than Coleman.

    December 19, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  12. Mike, Port St Lucie

    No count is final until the Democrat wins... and we blast 3rd world nations for such criminal ballot infractions. But NOT here in America... Hold on, wait a second... I just found 500 ballots that were previously misplaced in Gov. Blagojevich's wife's closet. Hold the presses.. all 500 for Al Frankin, miracles of miracles... imagine the odds of that....

    December 19, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  13. Dieter Zerressen, Denver, CO

    I like how some on here call Franken an idiot – that idiot went to Harvard. Coleman went to Hofstra and Iowa!
    I also like how conservatives can only win if all votes aren't counted. This is a Democracy – every vote should be counted if the voter's intention can be determined. Yes, some people might need a little help to vote but that doesn't mean their vote shouldn't count unless you're a Republican. Then you only want the "right" votes to count. Talk about elitist.

    December 19, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  14. Irritated in Fl

    Surprise, surprise! Like we didn't see this coming. They have spent weeks manipulating the recount until the Dem wins. Its a no brainer.

    December 19, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  15. david

    What is really scary is the displayed ballot is filled out exactly the way the person in front of me in Florida filled her's out with an X instead of blackening the circle. Either these people cannot read or they are "rebels" , regardless of which they aren't qualified to vote. We were sent sample ballots with instructions and still people just couldn't do what they were supposed to do. I guess they need to be spoon fed and have their mothers' wipe their noses'. At least Minn's recount hasn't made it to the Supreme Court.

    December 19, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    fo sho.

    December 19, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  17. PastorGene

    To those who claim the count is extended (rigged?) to "find" a victory for Al Franken: The recount and examination of challenged and improperly rejected ballots is being overseen by representatives (and lawyers) from both parties. Furthermore, the government administration overseeing the process is that of a REPUBLICAN governor.

    Perhaps the truth is that, rather than "finding" votes to give Franken the victory, votes were previously suppressed in order to give Coleman the victory. Which view you accept will depend largely on wich candidate or party you support. However, once again, both parties are overseeing the process, and with a Republican governor, Coleman has the "home field advantage" in the vote count.

    December 19, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  18. Super D

    MORONS!

    THERE'S NO VOTE COUNTING GOING ON HERE!

    THIS IS AN OUTRIGHT THEFT BY FRANKEN!

    FOR GAWDSAKES CALL A SPAID A SPAID WILL YA!

    WHERE IN THE HELL ARE COLEMAN'S PEOPLE? I HOPE THEY ARE RUNNING TO COURTHOUSE!

    FRANKEN IS A CRIMINAL, JUST LIKE BLAGO AND OVOMIT!

    December 19, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  19. ldk

    @KJ – nothing is said in the constitution about being qualified other than age, time in country, and citizenship. Any moron can be a US senator. I guess the founding fathers missed that one. Oh btw, I'm hoping Franken gets it...We need more democrats in Washington. Morons and otherwise...

    December 19, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  20. Matt

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! How's it feel GOP? Your tears sustain me!!!

    December 19, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  21. Toby in Illinois

    The election's not over till the fat lawyers sing!

    December 19, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  22. KG

    What a bunch of crybabies.
    Boo hoo. They're counting all the votes. Why don't they just stop counting like they did in Florida back in 2000? See how well that turned out?

    December 19, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  23. ca chris

    Franken is a very smart guy. Coleman....just another Republican mediocrity. I'm so relieved to finally see intelligent people win high office, people who achieved their positions in life due to hard work and brains rather than birthright.

    December 19, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  24. Chris

    Amazing when GOP Voter Suppresion results are legally exposed!

    December 19, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  25. Biffington, Biff

    It is always amusing to hear the republican supporters moan about counting votes. you know... like it's a BAD thing...

    lol...

    you just GOTTA love these guys...... he he.

    December 19, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
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