December 17th, 2008
10:54 AM ET
14 years ago

Day Two of ballot deliberation begins in Minnesota

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="The Minnesota recount continues today."]ST. PAUL, Minnesota (CNN) - Their self-imposed deadline was this Friday. But the panel weighing disputed ballots in the year's lone unresolved Senate race now faces an end date as uncertain as that vote's outcome.

Secretary of State Mark Ritchie and the four other members of the state's canvassing board resumed their deliberation over challenged ballots Wednesday morning, as the race between Republican Norm Coleman and Democratic challenger Al Franken remains too close to call.

When the panel began the day Tuesday, approximately 1,500 challenged votes sat before them. The group made it through just over 160 of them, the majority of which went to Coleman. That was an expected outcome - original decisions are considered unlikely to be overturned, and the challenges being considered first came from the Franken team.

The board's goal, Ritchie said Wednesday morning, is to make it through the Franken pile by the end of the day.

The challenges included about 450 from the Franken campaign, and about 1,000 from Coleman's team. But as of Tuesday night, the Franken team withdrew about 80 of their challenges. The Coleman team also says they plan to withdraw more challenges - but Coleman spokesman Mark Drake said they're planning on adding roughly 200 to the list as well. There has been no final word on whether Franken will also include additional challenges.

Also Wednesday, the Minnesota State Supreme Court will hear arguments from the Coleman campaign, which has asked for the counting of improperly rejected absentee ballots to cease - at least until, as the argue, a "uniform" method for counting them is put in place by the state's canvassing board.

Two State Supreme Court Justices also serve on the canvassing board. Chief Justice Eric Magnuson and Associate Justice G. Barry Anderson will abstain from the court's proceedings Wednesday, reducing the seven-member court to five.

soundoff (69 Responses)
  1. JJ in NY

    Franken is a joke, and if he's elected, then Minnesota is a joke !

    December 17, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  2. jaye

    Flipa coin and get it over with.
    Besides, when is the Coleman investigation going to cintinue?????

    December 17, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  3. Kevin in Ohio

    It'll actually be great when Franken forces himself upon the rest of us.... he will, without any doubt whatsoever, make a travesty of his Senate seat and make all dems look like the idiots they really are. Thankfully, 2010 is not that far way, and America can take back Congress, and start to reverse the damage of this most unpopular useless Congress in history.. Unfortunately, most people who voted for Franken probably had no clue that he is elexted for SIX years, and that's how long we, along with the people from Minnesota, will likely be stuck with him.

    December 17, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  4. Spread Head

    Take your time, folks, and get this right!

    Unlike most comments I have seen regarding this recount, I am encouraged by the process and the election officials in Minnesota. Yes, there have been a few misteps, but the process has been OPEN and HONEST. Most importantly, this is not being driven by either candidate, party, or special is a State required recount.

    After what we, as Americans, have seen in 2000 and 2004, it is encouraging to see a process, with as little court interference as possible, that will declare an unquestioned winner...regardless who it is.

    December 17, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  5. Josh Maloney, Oakland, CA

    Go Franken !!!!!

    December 17, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  6. Al Frankenstein

    Almost there...

    December 17, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  7. J.P.

    Webster defines "recount" as "an opportunity for Democrats to magically 'find" new ballots."

    December 17, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  8. CanIcallyouJoe

    Do these people not realize that this has gone on for far too long?

    The American people's attention span is a week at most. So, do whatever you want up there guys – the average man on the street won't know what you're even talking about. This is the country in which interviewers on the street found that the general public can't find Iraq or North Korea on a world map – yet they spared no time spouting hatred and war rhetoric against the very same countries.

    Just tell the news stations that one person won already. There are enough idiots here to defend that word to the death just because they heard it in the news. Flip a coin already.

    December 17, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  9. witt

    Just give the election to Franken and be done with this big waste of money. SoS Ritchie is going to pick and choose the results that favor him anyway.

    December 17, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  10. proudliberal-independent

    they are taking way too long. if people dont fill their ballots out correctly ,they should be trashed. follow the instructions, hayseeds!

    December 17, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  11. Ron - Saint Louis

    At this point I feel we should count every vote that was cast and select the winner who received the most votes from ALL VOTES CAST. This silliness of hiding behind the law about this ballot counts and this one doesn't is beyond stupid. Citizens took the time to vote and their votes should be counted, nothing more, nothing less.

    We need a national election system that governs all states and set a standard. If you are 18 and have an valid Social Security Number then you can vote. The system rolls up into a national computer to avoid voter fraud. No registeration, special IDs, party registration, etc. Maybe this could eliminate the Electorial College as well.

    We can always dream...

    December 17, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  12. Franken For President

    Imagine Al Franken as president in the future?

    December 17, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  13. Steve

    At this point in time, it appears the only just thing to do would be to let Senator Coleman and Mr. Franken hold a runoff. Neither of them will have a mandate, nor will they be able to claim a true, honest victory. The winner will now share the same electoral taint as President-select Bush has for the past eight years. I believe contests like these are a ticking time bomb for our entire process. Given the technology that is available to us and the billions of dollars spent on everything from commercials to touch screens, there has to be a better, more accurate way to run elections.

    December 17, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  14. Michael J. "Orange Mike" Lowrey

    Yup, this is the way we do things in the Midwest. Boring, slow, but methodical and above all centered on getting an HONEST result. My native South could do well to model things on this example (which is why I live in Wisconsin now: home of Feingold, Zeidler, the Lafollettes, etc.; rather than in the South of Chambliss, Roy Moore, David Duke, etc.).

    December 17, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  15. BO is just B.O.

    I agree with Spread Head, let's hope they look at all the disputed ballots instead of how the democrats tried to steal the election in Florida by only looking at the ones from strong democratic counties.

    December 17, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  16. Carmela, Longwood, Florida

    So long as Al Franken wins, I don't care how long it will take.

    December 17, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  17. gt

    Albert give it a rest you lost ,stop causing taking tax payers dollars for your lost cause......

    December 17, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  18. Tom Scott

    Open and honest??? Are you kidding me?? When they stop " finding " more Franken ballots then I MAY believe it. Until then Franken is going to do anything he can get away with to see thay more ballots show up for him and challenge more and more of the votes for Coleman. Get real.

    December 17, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  19. karen-phoenix

    Get this right!! Coleman is a crook!!!! Go Al Franken!!!

    December 17, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  20. Larry

    Spread head,

    Did you even READ the story above ???,or just start posting what you thought it should say???
    Franken has been going to court ,over and over,from the beginning,trying to find more votes-he cann't find them,so now he's trying to get the state to disallow some of Colemans votes.

    There has been no final word on whether Franken will also include
    additional challenges.

    December 17, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  21. That Guy Standing Over There

    Whoooo go whoever the democrat one is! Also... Minnesota... why is the Republican actually in the running.

    December 17, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  22. Chuck

    Maybe Coleman will win and then go to Jail. What a bunch of loosers we have elected into office. Honesty and character is surely lacking in our elected officials. What a shame for this country. We sound like what you hear in the news from the middle east and their corrupt politicians and governments.

    December 17, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  23. Kathy in Minnesota

    I voted Absentee because I Election Judged in another precient. I sure as hell want my vote to be counted, not rejected.

    I know Mark Ritchie. He is a standup guy and will see this process through.

    December 17, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  24. WELCOME TO THE OBAMA SHOW!!!!!!!!!!!!




    December 17, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  25. obama-mama

    Christ why don't you just have them arm wrestle for it....Good grief.

    December 17, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
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