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. Godluvr

    Last comment before celebration time is ON!!!!!!

    This is beginning to look more and more like a Dem-Dunk. I do declare!

    HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL – PLEASE DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE!!!

    December 31, 2008 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  2. Xavier

    Coleman is one sore loser. The man sure is a disgrace. As for those who will claim that Franklin stole the campaign, lets remeber that Bush shouldnt even have been president to begin with. One trillion dollar deficit later we see what YOUR Bush has done to our country. Hope you are happy.

    December 31, 2008 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  3. those have to be dentures

    and hair plugs, maybe a face lift

    these observations are very important to political analysis

    December 31, 2008 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  4. Texas Teacher

    .. how many times do they have to recount for Coleman to know that he lost? I know the grieving process is difficult... but I wish he could just spare us the process and get onto "acceptance"...

    December 31, 2008 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  5. Proud American

    Typical Republican when they can't win an election fair and square the steal one.. I just love Republicans their special.

    December 31, 2008 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  6. Joe in MN

    Can't we just have a a runoff to stop looking like such a stupid state?

    December 31, 2008 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  7. Irritated in Fl

    This race is so rigged it's pathetic. You would think that in these modern times this kind of thing would not be allowed to happen. I've always been a democrat but I believe in democracy and the Democratic party is working towards maiking this country into something ugly. I'll vote Republican until we once again have checks and balances, not a democratic monopoly of hoodlems.

    December 31, 2008 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  8. jaye

    Flip a coin and get this mess over with!

    December 31, 2008 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  9. Former R

    Coleman looks like an angry white man. Or maybe he is just a sore loser.

    December 31, 2008 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  10. merryjoe

    Here's hoping Senator Franken and the Obama administration can get this country moving in the right direction.

    December 31, 2008 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  11. Hawkeye

    I foresee an election do-over... with a stunning victory by write-in, independent candidate Joe Piscopo!

    December 31, 2008 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  12. A Latte Lover, Seattle, WA

    I don't particularly care for either Coleman or Franken. In my opinion neither is a very strong candidate. I wouldn't want to vote for either for my Senator. Just my opinion, so thank God I don't live in Minnesota. But for God sakes, lets get this thing over with. Enough is enough....

    December 31, 2008 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  13. Charlie in Maine

    Where is Sandra Day O'conner when you need her? Can't Colamn get his pals at the Supreme court to pull a W for him?

    December 31, 2008 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  14. Lost in Texas

    wow talking about things that NEVER end.....

    December 31, 2008 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  15. Isaac

    can't believe Knaak could say that with a straight face. Everything he's done has been aimed at disenfranchising voters.

    December 31, 2008 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  16. jrzshor

    couldn't they don gloves and bet the crap out of each other until the last man standing.

    December 31, 2008 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  17. AJ

    It's official, the 111th U.S. congress starts on January 3, 2009...

    ....except for Minnesota.

    December 31, 2008 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  18. Peter (CA)

    Hey Irritated--it's "hoodlums".
    You know like the Republicans who spent the years from 2000-2006 trying to limit your rights, shredding the Constitution, and rigging re-districting in order to establish a "permanent majority".

    Good people have seen through that.
    And every VALID vote should count.

    December 31, 2008 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  19. End Of An Error

    There really is no excuse for so many ambiguous ballots.

    Is it that hard to scan a ballot and tell the voter their ballot has a problem?

    Even if the votes are hand counted, a scanner could pre-screen the ballots.

    And people ought to be able to follow simple directions. How hard is it to vote for a candidate? You punch and remove a dot, or you completely fill in a circle, or whatever.

    There really is no excuse for making ambiguous marks or punches, or leaving chads, or whatever.

    How many millions of dollars have the few morons who couldn't follow directions cost? Not just this election but all elections. Countries with illiterate and uneducated populations do better than this. Come on people, get with the program.

    December 31, 2008 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  20. Moe, NY

    Go Franken.....Hope you end up the winner....SOOOOOO sick of republican BS.

    December 31, 2008 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  21. SOUTHERN HOTTIE

    Is Coleman wearing make-up?

    Yuck.

    December 31, 2008 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  22. Mike O'Brien

    Norm Coleman take a vacation or take a break.. Al Franken would be more funny and would do a better job at being a Senator for the great state of Minnesota then you would. Forget about petitioning the court. Let Al Franken have a job for once.., the great people of the state of Minnesota would enjoy it.., hell, the United States Senate would enjoy it. Mike O'Brien in Montana

    December 31, 2008 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  23. Independant Vet

    SO THE STORY OF PURCHASING VOTES CONTINUES.

    HARRY REID AN COMPANY ARE SRILL COUNTING VOTES , NOW SOME OF THE VOTERS HAVE SAME NAMES AS BEFORE IN OHIO AN ILL. DAFFY DUCK ,

    THERE IS ONE THING FOR SURE , MONEY TALKS , AN BUYS VOTES. NEXT THEY ( REID AN COMPANY WILL WANT ANOTHER RAISE, AND 350 DAYS OFF. YES WITH PAY .

    PEOPLE OF THE AGE OF 60 AND BEYOND HAVE SEEN THE BEST OF THE AMERICAN ERA. FOR NOW IT IS , LIES AN MORE LIES . AN DO NOTHINGS FOR THERE FELLOW MEN .

    BYE THE END OF 4 YEARS OF THIS CHANGE FOR TYHE WORSE. FASTEN YOUR SEAT BELTS. THE WORST IS ON ITS WAY . A MEN.

    December 31, 2008 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  24. GREG

    Al, you are the icing on a very delicious cake. What a great way to ring in the New Year. I championed you from day one by making 1,000 free "O'Franken Factor" bumperstickers on the day you joined Air America. I supported Obama since his DNC keynote speech in 2004. It's soooooooooo nice to see you both triumph!

    December 31, 2008 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  25. The ghost of normie

    Geez`, Normie, why don`t you just conceed, and be done.......
    You are no Paul Wellstone, and could`nt have ever possibly filled his shoes. Go back to being a " rock n roll " groupie, like you used too.
    You`re nothing but a right wing opportunistic hack job,... err,..... " B ".... job.

    December 31, 2008 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
1 2 3