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. Larry

    Oh Brother,

    Al's turning out to be quite a whinner, I think this is really funny Al, what a comedian .The whole thing is a joke,and you're a funny guy.

    November 17, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  2. ck

    Franken needs to give it up and accept he lost. He is lucky he ever made it as far as he did.

    November 17, 2008 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  3. Angel

    name a winner already

    November 17, 2008 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  4. Desert Storm Vet

    Al Franken- Always the comedian.

    November 17, 2008 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  5. Belle1

    Funny, usually instructions on a ballot are pretty clear. Also very clear on an absentee ballot as to warning not to follow will result in not counting the ballot.

    But I am surprised a candidate would demand to count all rejected ballots as well!

    Whatever happened to "Rules are Rules" Obama fans?

    November 17, 2008 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  6. DC

    Here we go...The Dems will now try to "steal" this election just like Bush supposedly did in 2000. They want it both ways. Franken is a joke and a troll. I can't believe anyone took him seriously. I hope he loses.

    November 17, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  7. Willy Brown

    Al Franken even if he manages to steal this election will be the biggest loser that he is in D.C. You in the land of 10K lakes must be so pround of the moron.

    November 17, 2008 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  8. Griff

    CNN! Lap-top per Child... You had better not, Try to Spy; on Toto's of the World...

    November 17, 2008 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  9. Mels

    You've got to admire his tenacity.

    November 17, 2008 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  10. Jeremy

    More typical CNN corporate media bias. Al Franken, United States Senator. Sounds fantastic.

    November 17, 2008 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  11. John E Lexington KY

    Coleman needs to appear holding up the Citizen Kane newspaper headline, "Fraud at the Polls". Coleman was a Democrat in 2000, you'd think he'd show a bit more sensitivity but such events always reveal the character of the man. Gore cared enough for the country to finally concede; the fact that Bush (or his handlers) were completely ruthless laid out how they would govern – had Gore won (officially) Bush would have torn the country apart to cripple him, just as he did as president. Coleman setting up the predicate of 'fraud' in case he loses shows how little he cares what will happen if he does.

    November 17, 2008 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  12. Garrett

    It's still strange – and sad – to me that Al Franken is a couple hundred votes away from being a Senator. Is this the best the dems can do? I know things are bad right now, but that does not justify the knee-jerk near election of an unreasonable former celebrity. Put a viable candidate on the ballot next time...someone with a shred of decency and objectivity!

    November 17, 2008 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  13. Really?

    Give it up Franken.....

    November 17, 2008 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  14. TyWebb

    Because I'm good enough...I'm smart enough...and doggone it, people like me.

    November 17, 2008 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |


    November 17, 2008 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  16. Michael

    Dunno, but this whole idea of "rejecting ballots" is really screwy to me. We need a common system throughout the country that ensures that every vote that is cast, after verifying ID, is counted.....period.

    I know that goes counter to some folks' ideas, but I think it's pretty important for a democracy, huh?

    November 17, 2008 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  17. Joe Green

    "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."

    This is not an EXAMPLE, it is a HYPOTHETICAL.

    That is, unless the Franken campaign somehow has access to abesentee ballots, right?

    Franken is too Karl Rove for me. Send him back to SNL.

    No wait, SNL has been funnier since he left.

    Search "Franken" and "homphobia" on google. This guy has "issues" as we say....

    November 17, 2008 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  18. Jen, Cali

    This a joke, Franken - right? Better yet, Franken is a joke, right?

    November 17, 2008 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  19. Steve J

    Why do Coleman's responses always sound SO much more desperate if they're sure they've won?

    November 17, 2008 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  20. Paul

    The story turned out to be inaccurate? I think this is what CNN meant to write:

    "Franken's Campaign lied and fabricated the story to get commonly rejected absentee votes counted."

    I voted for Obama, and I have no problem saying that if this was a Republican, the word "inaccurate" would have been replaced with "lies and fabricated" instantaniously.

    Seriously, Franken owes taxes in 17 states. I would be in jail.

    November 17, 2008 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  21. Harry, IL

    Al Franken is a joker and a thief. No need to report anything about him. Democrats shelter such people

    November 17, 2008 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  22. Richard Larson

    An open and transparent voting process is the very basis of defending the freedoms with which this country has been endowed. I am aware that vote suppression has long been an honored dodge offered up by candidates who fear that a free and open vote counting process will somehow reduce their chances of winning. Sadly this has been the GOP mantra for decades. Each of those rejected ballots should be enumerated on a list with the reason for rejection appended for each name, and the list published in the major newspapers of the state. The panel established to monitor the recount should rule on each rejection. Then, and only then, will this recount have any validity. I wish that we would follow the example of the rest of the world and mandate a run-off election decided by less than .5% of the votes cast. That would probably solve the problem.

    November 17, 2008 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  23. Dylan, Los Angeles

    Franken is right. It's absurb how local county government determine absentee ballot eligibility.

    Signature, permanent address vs mailing address and all the details obscure voter rights.

    November 17, 2008 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  24. DOCS 3


    November 17, 2008 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  25. Mark, B'ham., Al.

    Is that so the democrats can find more votes left in cars, closets, or empty voting boxes? We already have enough left wing zealots in the Senate.

    November 17, 2008 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
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