November 9th, 2008
10:00 AM ET
12 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. midwest mom

    GO AL.....the days of the 'good ole boy network' are numbered...I am rooting for you!

    November 8, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  2. Bob In Baltimore

    You go Al!

    November 8, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  3. Nick

    GO AL GO !!!!!

    November 8, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |

    Let's really hope that Franken can somehow pull this one out. Let's hope Martin and Begich can win too.

    November 8, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  5. Barbara

    The right wing commentators on AFTER PARTY – they should be thrown out. I cant believe what I heard........they are totally in denial- truly just sore losers...........this BRIAN DE fcompletley insane – what in the world was he talking about – I think this show SUCKED SO BAD I cannot believe it..............the Democrats won – because they are not in denial..........ridiculous clowns

    November 8, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  6. Greg P.

    Interesting how republicans hate seeing the court system being abused, unless of course it is they that want to use the system.

    Coleman has a history of filing lawsuits and using the legal system when he starts to feel cornered.

    November 8, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  7. mike

    As long as everything is done right Al keep on and hang in there...Change is here.

    November 8, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  8. Perusing-Through

    Democracy at work. Recount!!

    November 8, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  9. David Newport, OR

    A perfect example of why paper ballots are a necessity. We need to have elections that can account for every vote.

    November 8, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  10. mnmom

    Why is Coleman doing this? Didn't he win? He already gave a victory speech and said that Franken should concede. When asked if he would ask for a recount if the tables were turned ~he SAID yes. Judging by this stunt, he's a liar. Are we running scared Norm? Every ballot SHOULD count whether absentee or not!

    November 8, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  11. MrManhattan

    Whats the matter with Coleman?

    Doesn't Minnesota have a Supreme Court ?

    November 8, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  12. Matt from Kansas City, MO

    YAY c'mon Al!!! Win one more for the dems!!!! goin for 60!!!! woo!!!

    -Matt from KC

    November 8, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  13. mm

    Coleman does not belong in MN
    just like that woman

    bachman does not belong here either,

    these are the people we ought to say _ and they are from MN???

    they are an embarrasment for us, here

    but there are those people like them...
    racists, bigots, taking advantage of others, looking out for themselves,
    rich divisive,

    i hope Franken gets elected, WE NEED CHANGE

    November 8, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  14. Bubba

    go franker!
    share the love baby.

    November 8, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  15. Sylvia

    Franken will be Minnesota's new senator!!!

    November 8, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  16. GrogInOhio

    Republicans surely do love disenfranchising people that aren't voting for them. Repulsive and un-American.

    73 days till the end of the Bush administration.

    November 8, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  17. john

    The republicans are at it again FIGHT EM FRANKEN!!!!!

    November 8, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  18. Randy, San Francisco

    The US Senate needs Al Franken's to add some humor to the Senate chamber. A little laughter may help promote some spirit off bi-partisanship.

    November 8, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  19. Speider

    People have aired doubts about a comedian holding political office, whole others point to actors and other celebrities who have held political office as high as the presidency. It is not a question of why should they hold office, but more a question of why not. A government OF the people and BY the people is our heritage. What was the occupations of our founding fathers?

    I'd rather have the educated man who plays the fool leading me than the fool who plays the educated man.

    November 8, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  20. Marge

    I know the people in one of these counties...St. Louis who made a mistake and wrote 24 instead of 124. And this election board are above reproach...Not like the bunch who programmed bush's win in Ohio.

    November 8, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  21. Proud Liberal

    Keep fighting Al! Republicans never expect Liberals to fight, but when we do, we usually win!

    November 8, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  22. Frankenstein

    Like Obama, Frankenstein also supports change - like the change of the results in the senate race. Dems wish to rule ruthlessly and without regard to the rule of law.

    Be afraid, be very afraid.

    November 8, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  23. Dan MN

    Is he a serious candidate?

    What in the @*&?!! is going on in our country?

    November 8, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  24. An American Liberal

    First of all the following disclaimer, I am a true Democrat (for a LOT of years).

    Um, I am pulling for you Coleman! Please dear God, do NOT let Franken anywhere near the Senate.

    Blasphemy I know, but some times we have to lose a battle to win the war. And in this case, I am afraid that Franken's future acts (he is a few cards shy of a full deck) could help the neo-cons reclaim seats in 2010.

    Just my two cents.

    -An American Liberal

    November 8, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  25. Seattle Sue

    All the votes need to be counted, we have had enough elections where all the votes have not been counted. A recount is needed in an election this close.

    November 8, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
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