November 9th, 2008
10:00 AM ET
14 years ago

Franken sees boost in nail-biter election

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Former President Clinton campaigned with Al Franken a week before Election Day."]
MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota (CNN) - In a move that could be seen as a benefit to Democrat Al Franken, a Minnesota judge Saturday denied a request from incumbent Republican Sen. Norm Coleman's campaign to block certain uncounted absentee ballots from being counted in a race separated by–at latest tally–just over 200 votes in Coleman's favor.

That slim margin has narrowed since the first tallies earlier in the week. In total, almost 3 million ballots were cast.

According to the court request, the Coleman campaign sought an "emergency temporary injunction" preventing election officials from unsealing, opening, or tallying any absentee ballots that were not inside an official ballot box by midnight election night.

Specifically, the Coleman team was looking to block 32 uncounted ballots from the city of Minneapolis, according to the campaign in the request. They say they were notified late Friday night that these ballots were to be counted the next day.

In a statement, Coleman recount attorney Fritz Knaak said the purpose of the request "was to secure those ballots until we could receive some kind of testimonial assurance, some proof, that they hadn’t been tampered with, that they had been secured and that there will be no question in the mind of the electorate that there had been any wrong doing."

Ramsey County District Court Judge Kathleen Gearin turned down the request "for lack of jurisdiction."

Franken spokesman Andy Barr called it a "sneak attack" on the part of the opposing campaign because he says no one in the Democrat's campaign found out about the motion until an hour before the court hearing on Saturday.

"They are, to us, pretty clearly trying to do whatever they can to cast doubt on this extremely routine process of canvassing and checking the tabulations and trying to freeze the votes where they were election night where coleman had a [greater] lead," Barr told CNN.

Minnesota law mandates a recount when election results are this close.

Filed under: Al Franken • Minnesota • Norm Coleman • Popular Posts • Senate
soundoff (307 Responses)
  1. Dave

    Well, from a neutral point of view, it is reasonable that any given candidate would be worried if votes went any period of time without being guarded by members of both parties... that is reasonable. And so is the judge's ruling, since there will be a recount anyways, given how close the race was. There is no partisan scumbag moves here; it is simply a close race and both candidates want to make sure that the final outcome is fair. That said, congratulations to members of both parties for keeping it fair in this very publicized race- and shame on all of the common citizens who have taken this very well handled situation and turning it into partisan mudslinging. Leaders from either major political party would be ashamed at how low their supporters have fallen.

    November 9, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  2. Americans for an Objective Media

    We will do everything in our power to make Chris Matthews' career unsuccessful.

    November 9, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  3. Thomas Dark

    It is sad to see well intentioned posts by Republicans like S Ryan (above) who continue to purport Obama and socialism in the same sentence. Nothing Obama has pushed from his campaign. You want to talk socialism? Are you concerned about your Social Security benefits? Socialism. Medicare and medicaid? Socialism. The Bush/Paulson pushed bailout? Socialism. So please...quite trying to turn the phrase incorrectly.

    If Obama had been pushing for a single payer style healthcare plan it would be socialism. But that is not what he said. People can keep their own or choose from the same pool of insurance plans as the federal employees. Hardly socialism. People need health care. They may not need plasma tvs or ipods but they need access to a physician and health services.

    Oh and Ryan? If you were so happy you wouldn't have been so quick to jump in and try to tell everyone how happy you are. You would be out there enjoying that happiness!

    November 9, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  4. mn. red

    Well folks it's been fun yanking your chains. Just proving how gullible you libs are. I guess though you all ready proved that. You got the white house.

    November 9, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  5. Joe the Boxer

    To the Americans for an objective media,
    where was your proclamation of an objective media during the Bush Administration era?
    I suggest you make our counrty your motive for a proclamation instaed of partisanship being a motive............

    November 9, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  6. V

    Everyone knows that votes have a well known liberal bias, as do facts.

    November 9, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  7. Wilfrid

    Lets talk about the 124 billion windfall that banks received thanks to Paulson. Lets talk about that CNN. We have been Busheddddddddd again.

    November 10, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
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