December 16th, 2008
05:30 PM ET
13 years ago

Minnesota officials eye challenged Senate ballots

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="A canvassing board met Tuesday in Minnesota to review ballots in the state's very tight race for a U.S. Senate seat up for grabs"]
ST. PAUL, Minnesota (CNN) - While the official hand recount in Minnesota's tight U.S. Senate race between incumbent Republican Norm Coleman and Democrat Al Franken has ended, a stack of about 1,500 challenged ballots means the announcement of a winner is still at least a few days away.

Secretary of State Mark Ritchie's canvassing board, which includes Ritchie, two state Supreme Court judges and two Ramsey County judges, began reviewing the questioned ballots at noon Tuesday in an effort to determine each voter's intent.

Ballots have been challenged - and rejected - for a number of reasons, many because of ovals not properly filled in, some because of identifying marks - initials or signatures - made by voters on their ballots, and others for stray markings, particularly in the areas with the candidates' names.

The board started with about 440 ballots disputed by the Franken campaign. After three and half hours of debate, the board had sifted through just over 100 of them.

As could be expected with ballots challenged by Franken, most of the votes so far have been awarded to Coleman - approximately 70 to Franken's dozen or so. The remainder of the ballots have been placed in an "other" pile, most of them rejected as a vote for either candidate for one reason or another.

Ritchie hopes to complete the review of challenged ballots by the end of the day Friday, though that deadline is not solid. It is also possible for campaigns to add still more challenges to their piles.

At the end of the recount, Coleman held a slight edge of about 200 votes, but that number is far from final.

Filed under: Al Franken • Minnesota • Norm Coleman
soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. AJ

    Hey Normal,
    I don't think Larry is necessarily a Right-Winger, nor is it at all apparent he doesn't know anything about the situation.
    I am a democrat, who voted for Obama, and I think Al Franken is a raving lunatic who doesn't belong anywhere near the Senate. Any honest voter realizes that, Democrat or Republican. THAT'S why he bothered commenting...

    December 16, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  2. Texas Teacher

    I don't think these Repubs would be howling over tax money if their man was 200 down.... OH,NO... they would be screaming for a recount and shouting voter fraud.... *grin* strange how it is with the GOP..... there is one set of rules for them... and quite another for everyone else! *LOL*

    December 16, 2008 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  3. Irony

    If you beleive that counting votes is a waste of money, you are without doubt, unpatriotic, and un-American. Perhaps you would like a system where votes are never counted. I'm sure there are such places awaiting your idiocy and happy to have you. Don't like democracy? Get out of my country!

    December 16, 2008 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  4. Jess

    Ennis – care to give a link to any data supporting your claim that more votes were cast than there were voters in Seattle in the 2004 governor's election? Sounds like some mighty sour grapes that 'ole Dino has been beaten twice by a woman.
    a Seattle resident, who (just like everyone else) only cast one vote

    December 16, 2008 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  5. Barbara M.


    Florida law required the same sort of hand count the law in Minnesota requires, a hand count where the intent of the voters should be taken into account. The Florida Supreme court ruled under Florida law that a hand recount be completed.

    In the case of Florida, the stakes were so high for the Republicans they were willing to have the hand recount stopped and the 2000 election stolen by five Bush-loving Justices on the United States Supreme Court. Three of those Justices remain on the court with two additional "conservatives" taking the places of the dead and retired two. Four of the five are religiously motivated.

    Just be thankful that Minnesota can't give the Presidency to the Republicans; if it could, you would see the willingness of the Republicans to steal this election in full view of the world. Jeb Bush helped the Republican 2000 theft in Florida, but was his help even necessary with a majority of the Supreme Court corrupt?

    A Florida Citizen

    December 16, 2008 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  6. Independent Iowan

    Ennis, George W. did the same thing with his 04 election. I love how anti-Democrats think Republicans are angels and Democrats are worthless. Take a look around and most everything that sucks right now is the result of corrupt capitalist greed stemming from corporate butt-buddies in the GOP. Al Franken is the type of person this country needs. Add Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert to the mix and we would be on the road to doing what is right for once. Who cares what they do for a living, they have better brains than most of the politicians running the country now. By blaming Franken for the recounts, you're only making yourselves look stupid. Clearly there is enough dissatisfaction in Minnesota with Coleman to make it this close. I hope Al Franken wins!

    December 16, 2008 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  7. ya right

    Washington Gov's race sounds similar to the crooked 2000 election in Florida. Both parties are guilty of election spin and posturing.

    December 16, 2008 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  8. ya right

    oh and Gov Gregoire of Washington came back just this last election cycle and beat Rossi w/out any "issues", so the people of WA spoke.

    December 16, 2008 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
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