November 17th, 2008
07:00 PM ET
13 years ago

Franken not ruling out asking for postponed recount

MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota (CNN) - Democrat Al Franken's campaign made yet another attempt Monday to have certain rejected absentee ballots thrown into the mix when the recount officially commences Wednesday. They've now taken their argument straight to Secretary of State Mark Ritchie's canvassing board.

Last week, Franken attorney Mark Elias said the campaign filed a lawsuit with Ramsey County asking for data on rejected ballots. However, the county has set this Wednesday to hear the case - in other words, too late for their decision to make a difference since the statewide hand recount will have begun that morning.

When first laid out last Thursday, Elias gave the example of an elderly woman who's absentee ballot was rejected because, according to the Franken campaign, her signature did not match the one on file merely because she had had a stroke. It was the only example given to reporters after numerous prodding.

That story turned out to be inaccurate, and its taken the campaign four days to offer any other reasons as to why, in their minds, a rejected ballot should ever be counted.

Asked what the campaign plans to do if at their Tuesday meeting the canvassing board decides they will continue with current plan and not count rejected ballots, Franken spokeswoman Colleen Murray said they're taking it one step at a time but added that they have not ruled out anything, specifically, asking for a postponement of the recount.

The Coleman campaign fired back with a press release saying the Franken campaign "intends to stop recount vote."

“The Franken campaign’s decision to demand that the State Canvassing Board accept rejected absentee ballots was a blatant admission they do not have the votes to overturn the re-election of Norm Coleman,” Knaak said. “However, their public statement that – failing to succeed in this desperate and unprecedented act tomorrow – they will ask the State Canvassing Board to stop the recount is breathtaking in its far-reaching scope that could leave Minnesotans without a senator in January. Minnesotans will not stand for this obvious effort to win through a legal system what the Franken campaign could not win through the ballot box.”

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soundoff (56 Responses)
  1. Barbara in NC

    If what he's asking for is legal, no problem.

    The repubs are afraid other people try to steal elections because the repubs have been SOOOOOOOOOO guilty of stealing elections for decades. It's time to stopdisenfranchising voters for ANY reason.

    November 17, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  2. Susan in NC

    Has Minnesota gone whacko or what? The Coleman-Franken saga continues. Pawlenty's "strutting" tike a Presidential candidate - Heaven forbid! And, just for the record, can anyone please explain to me how in the world Michelle Bachmann was re-elected to serve in the US House of Representatives from Minnesota?

    November 17, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  3. mouli

    Frankly, Franken is comic at best.

    November 17, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  4. Independent

    Al Frankin should have stuck with comedy years ago. As it is now he's just one of the pervayors of hate that exist on both sides of the aisle. Spewing their garbage on the radio waves.

    Al Franken becoming a US senator is about as ridiculous as Rush Limbaugh becoming a US senator. Both of them are hateful partisans on their respective lunatic fringes. One HATES liberals and the other HATES conservatives. They both deserve each other.

    November 17, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  5. ERD in NC

    Typos abound.

    November 17, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  6. paul (staunch Moderate)

    "The Coleman campaign fired back with a press release saying the Franken campaign "intends to stop recount vote.""

    'Stop' and 'postpone' are 2 different things. Not saying I agree with Franken's campaign attempts – just saying perhaps the Coleman campaign needs to get out a dictionary or thesaurus. Incendiary comments like that don't do anyone any good. Don't believe that? Just ask Jon Porter or Elizabeth Dole how well incendiary remarks work. They both lost thier bids for reelection.

    November 17, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  7. annie - never again a dem.

    Why would anyone have vote for this fruit loop frankenstien?

    November 17, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  8. Red, Red WHINE!!

    Ok, I'm pretty prominently in favor of democrats this election. But I'm worried about this comedian and his antics. If this is how he takes care of post poning everything, I hope to god he doesn't win.

    We can't afford to have senators in office that fight tooth and nail to ensure no progress is made. He's getting a recount...he needs to shut up and let it happen and quit his crying! It's not funny!

    November 17, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  9. Steve in Las Vegas,NV

    Every vote MUST be counted...No matter what. There must be no rejected ballots for any reason. No excuses....Remember Florida???

    November 17, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  10. Susan from Scotts Valley, CA

    I am soooo tired of these Republican tactics. Everyone should want EVERY valid vote counted.

    November 17, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  11. _____ Knaak

    Who is Knaak? A Coleman spokesperson? Whoever the writer of this piece should maybe give a first name and a title for Knaak.

    November 17, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  12. Roy

    I TRULY support and appreciate Al Franken's attempts in this recount....but this needs to get done soon.....otherwise whatever prize is at stake here will have a permanent scar on it and a taint to it, no matter WHO becomes the 'Honorable' Senator from MN!

    November 17, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  13. Eduardo

    let the chips fall where they may Al Franken. I like your politics, but if the recount has Coleman winning again then we must hold to that final result. this is not a best-of-five, -seven, or nineteen.

    November 17, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  14. Henry Miller, Cary, NC

    Yeah, postpone it for six years...

    November 17, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  15. Gene

    This is seriously becoming a joke. Yesterday I heard something on TV that makes more sense than this entire Minnesota vote counting fiasco. Why is it that American Idol manages to tally millions of votes in an hour.. but our election system takes a weeks to count votes?

    This is just becoming pathetic. If I was running.. I'd already be resigning.. stating the reason as not wanting to represent a state of morons who don't seem to know how to count.

    November 17, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  16. reggie

    Give it up Franken. You did not win the election and you are not qualified to be a U.S. Senator. You will not be able to steal the election with all your fradualent vote counts....
    Go back to telling bad jokes.

    November 17, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  17. Aaron from ohio

    I wondered if this election would ever be over. I guess not. Senators get convicted of felonies and still run. A presidential candidate gets accused of being a terrorist. A VP candidate has a ceremony performed to protect her from witches. A House candidate wants to start McCarthy style hearings on "un-american candidates and sitting representatives. Stories float that a candidate isn't even an American. We get subjected to a "story" of who is or isn't wearing a flag pin. Bless our dysfunctional electorate and their prescription meds.

    November 17, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  18. Mike, Syracuse NY

    Ballots were rejected because the didn't follow the rules. Wasn't that the same argument made by Obama for not counting MI and FL primary votes? I guess the rules are only the rules when they benefit the right people.

    November 17, 2008 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  19. Kevin in MN

    I've given up watching Desperate Housewives–this is a much better drama: "Desperate Candidates." What will happen in the next "episode"? Will Al be successful in getting to see the doomed ballots? Will Norm get another check from his friend? Will Al write more episodes for SNL? Will the winner invite the loser to a meeting in Chicago? Tune in tomorrow for the next excciting episode of "Desperate Candidates."

    November 17, 2008 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  20. Gabe Shedd

    "Minnesotans will not stand for this obvious effort to win through a legal system what the Franken campaign could not win through the ballot box.”

    Yeah, because the United States is known for it's fair and honest elections.

    November 17, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  21. That Other Jerry

    Whatcha lookin' for Al? Hanging chads?

    November 17, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  22. JB

    As much as would like Franken to win, I don't think he will. He should be gracious when he has to concede.

    November 17, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  23. chris

    All votes should be counted.

    November 17, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  24. james

    Franken..............thought you deserved to win because the other lefties did?? Think again. The electorate is ignorant, but stupidity would have crowned the "win" if you had won. Go back to wrestling. That's what you're good for. Sure isn't comedy. You're to vulgar. James

    November 17, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  25. Lisa P

    Minnesotans will not stand for this obvious effort to win through a legal system what the Franken campaign could not win through the ballot box.

    Oh, the irony! 😀

    November 17, 2008 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
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