December 31st, 2008
08:15 PM ET
5 years ago

Coleman again taking recount to court

The recount of Minnesota's Senate race between Republican Sen. Norm Coleman, left, and Democrat Al Franken will stretch into next year.
The recount of Minnesota's Senate race between Republican Sen. Norm Coleman, left, and Democrat Al Franken will stretch into next year.

MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota (CNN) – Attorneys with Norm Coleman's Senate campaign on New Year's Eve are again asking Minnesota's high court on the issue of improperly rejected absentee ballots in the state's still unresolved race between the Republican incumbent and Democrat Al Franken.

The court ruled earlier this month that both campaigns and local election officials must agree on the ballots that were improperly rejected before the canvassing board can open and count them. Ballots that are rejected improperly are typically the result of clerical error.

Local elections officials had identified approximately 1,350 ballots that may have been rejected in error. The Coleman campaign is asking the court to force Secretary of State Mark Ritchie and the state canvassing board to consider not only those but hundreds more that they say they've identified unilaterally.

Ritchie's office said that the process was drawing to a close.

"The Office of the Secretary of State has been working closely with the Coleman campaign, the Franken Campaign, and local election officials to implement the Supreme Court's order to count wrongly rejected absentee ballots by Jan. 4, 2009," they said in a statement released Wednesday.

"This process, now 90% complete, was agreed upon by both campaigns, local officials, and the Secretary of State on the afternoon of December 24, 2008. We look forward to the completion of the State Canvassing Board's work next week."

As they've done in the past, the Coleman campaign responded by accusing Ritchie's office of supporting Franken.

"There should be no reason for the Secretary of State's office to do anything other than join with us in ensuring that Minnesota voters are not being disenfranchised because of an overeager effort to close the books on some voter’s ballots," said Coleman attorney Fritz Knaak in a statement.

Franken attorney Marc Elias again said the race had reached an end, releasing a statement that said Minnesotans are ready to "recognize a winner" in the race, and that the Coleman campaign is "diverting attention into the courts and away from the counting of ballots."

A deadline of this Friday has been set for local officials and the campaigns to hand over the envelopes of their agreed-upon rejected ballots to the state canvassing board for review. It is unclear if the completion of this process could force an extension.

On Tuesday, Ritchie said he hoped the process of allocating these ballots could be completed by January 6.

soundoff (64 Responses)
  1. Tom

    Funny in 200 it was the Republicans castigating the Democrats for taking that election result to court. The hypocrites of the Republican party will never learn. No wonder their party is a joke. They stand for nothing and have no shame at all.

    December 31, 2008 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  2. john

    Throw out the bum Norm Coleman!

    hes is just another yes man for george bush and an obstructionist to president barack obama. He must go.

    December 31, 2008 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  3. maurice

    cnn will ban me for this........ however i would like to know who tx teacher is having sex with at cnn. her comments get posted double at times............ while others who im sure are way more intelligent don`t....wait i forgot this is cnn. clinton news network. and they run the show........as far as the recount just have a new election colman will win... the dems only vote when they need another hand out...

    January 1, 2009 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  4. Amber

    I am SOOO tuning in to Rush Limbaugh's nigh-unlistenable show the day Franken is declared the winner.

    Go ahead and obstruct all you want Republican Senators. We're at 59, now. Go ahead and give us 70 in 2010, I dare ya!

    January 1, 2009 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  5. Coleman '08

    I am sick of you liberals. Coleman won the election in November, then Franken made a stink, and he was supported. Now that Coleman is doing the same, you liberal-pussies are complaining. I have nothing against either man, just you people that live on this blog.

    January 1, 2009 12:22 am at 12:22 am |
  6. Moe, NY

    Come on Coleman...give it up...hopefully when all is said and done ...you do not win....sorry....sick and tired of Republicans and their ....give it all to the corporations/rich....too many American's are hurting now....so, hope you do not win.

    January 1, 2009 12:22 am at 12:22 am |
  7. TrueIndependent

    Coleman looks like a shark in this photograph. Not nice!

    This is true democracy, let the process work itself out.

    Republicans on this blog, your anger is palpable. If you are so bitter, call the white house! George Bush is the reason for the beating. Blame the right culprit.

    Happy New Year to all.

    January 1, 2009 12:33 am at 12:33 am |
  8. Mr. Mike

    Franken is stealing this election with fraud. Gregoire in Washington did the same thing to Dino Rossi.

    Lousy democrats can't win an election unless they taint it with lies and faulty ballots.

    January 1, 2009 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  9. Laura, Boston

    MN is making FL look good!

    Al Franken is recounting until he gets a win. It would seem impossible to be up by over 200 votes and a recount puts you 45 votes behind.

    With a the "so-called" found ballots (who found them?, where?). They should have another election over so it can all be done and over with.

    January 1, 2009 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  10. Nhop

    Beware! Coleman will no doubt appeal to the U S Supreme Court. Then Antonin Scalia, the most evil man in America - barring only serial murderers and rapists - will persuade four other reactionaries to join him in a blatantly partisan ruling, as in Bush v Gore. The only good that will come out of that nullification of the voters' will is that Democrats will reject the justices' pathetic begging for higher salaries.

    January 1, 2009 12:54 am at 12:54 am |
  11. Laura, Boston

    MN is making FL look good!

    Al Franken is recounting until he gets a win. It would seem impossible to be up by over 200 votes and a recount puts you 45 votes behind.

    With a the "so-called" found ballots (who found them?, where?). They should have another election over so it can all be done and over with.

    CNN please post my comments

    January 1, 2009 12:54 am at 12:54 am |
  12. Leigha

    Admit defeat, Coleman. It's time.

    January 1, 2009 01:09 am at 1:09 am |
  13. Bruce

    Al Franken is not only an idiot and a porn purveyor; he's now also a thief and a crook. His theft of this senatorial election brings back the glory days of LBJ when he stole a senate seat from a fellow democrat.

    If Minnesota lets this clown go to Washington, they will get exactly what they deserve.

    January 1, 2009 01:11 am at 1:11 am |
  14. NEW AMERICAN-CITIZEN

    LOSSER AGAIN. WE DONT GO AWAY COLEMAN. U NOT GONNA WIN THIS THING. TAKE MY WORD

    AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE TIRED OF GOP

    January 1, 2009 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
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