December 19th, 2008
11:32 AM ET
14 years ago

Franken takes slim lead in early count

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="As of Friday morning, Al Franken has a narrow lead over Sen. Norm Coleman, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune."]ST. PAUL, Minnesota (CNN) - Democrat Al Franken currently holds a slight edge over incumbent Republican Sen. Norm Coleman in Minnesota's still unresolved U.S. Senate race, according to a running tally on the Minneapolis Star Tribune's Web site.

The newspaper's mid-morning tally showed Franken with a 102 vote margin over Coleman with several hundred ballots still to be reviewed. On Thursday evening, Coleman had been ahead by single digits.

But the race remains fluid: the results reported by the Star Tribune are an ongoing tally, with hundreds of challenges still to be reviewed Friday.

Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie has said that he and the rest of the four-judge panel who comprise the canvassing board will not end their work day until all remaining challenges have been reviewed.

One major wild card that remains are roughly 4,000 ballots that were originally challenged by the campaigns, who have since withdrawn those challenges. The Secretary of State's office has yet to declare how or when those ballots will be awarded to the candidates.

Another issue: the State Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that improperly rejected absentee ballots should not be tallied unless both campaigns and county elections officials agree the ballot was improperly rejected. It's estimated there are about 1,600 improperly rejected ballots.

(Updated at noon with additional information)


soundoff (175 Responses)
  1. Jackie in Dallas

    I'm constantly amazed at the inability of people blogging to actually read the stories they are commenting on.

    The recount was called for BY THE STATE CONSTITUTION due to the closeness of the results. Neither candidate requested it. The election judges are doing a supurb job of keeping the public informed, and on performing the recount. No one is stealing anything; no ballots not cast legally in absentee voting or on election day are being counted.

    Whatever the outcome, Minnesota is doing a fine job of showing fairness in this election.

    December 19, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  2. GM from MN

    Dang those Democrats and them counting votes. How dare they count votes? What do they think this is.....a Democracy or something?

    December 19, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  3. Steve, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

    The majority of the justices of the Minnesota Supreme Court were nominated by the curent Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty. It seems that the Republicans complain when things don't go their own way, when their appointees don't vote their way. The only reason that Coleman was even in a close race in the first place was that he followed lock step with conservative George W. Bush for eight years. You can't do that in liberal Minnesota and some people not take notice. After all, this is Hubert Humphrey's home state.

    December 19, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  4. Pete

    I need another update, it's been at least a couple minutes and I'm sure they counted more votes.

    December 19, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  5. Jim Rousch

    JUST ONCE I'd like to the the Republicans get a taste of their own hemlock.

    Remember when Boris Yeltsin banned the Communist Party in Russia? It's time ban the Republican Party in America.

    December 19, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  6. gt

    more fools in minnesota than lakes .....

    December 19, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  7. Brad/San Diego

    All you right wing republicans you can't stand it that you lost this election because the the republicans party is crooked as hell and will lie and cheat to keep the wealty happy to steal more money from the poor. So for all you crooked republicans you can all go to HELL,

    December 19, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  8. libbssuck1

    Funny how towards the end of the counting that the lib liar is now in the lead with a triple digit lead. they are going to have to recount again lol!

    December 19, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  9. Get over it

    To Jim Rousch

    "Remember when Boris Yeltsin banned the Communist Party in Russia? It's time ban the Republican Party in America."

    Remember this if you remember nothing else; The democratic party in this country wants to "share the wealth" which is SOCIALISM and socialism is only 1 or 2 steps from COMMUNISM.

    December 19, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  10. HF from PA

    It is interesting that when there is a voting battle...democrats fight to ensure every vote is counted...republicans fight to have votes excluded...When there is a battle for voter access...Dems fight for easier access...Reps fight for more restrictions..hmmmm....just an observation.

    December 19, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  11. Kurt C.

    What a crock of crap. Franken and his supporters are stealing this election just as many suspected.

    December 19, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  12. Kurt C.

    You're a moron if you still think Bush stole the election in 2000. Gore tried to steal it with the help of the Florida Supreme Court.

    The US Supreme Court, who was decidedly not Bush supportive on many of the issues he wanted, took his side because it was the Constitutionally right thing.

    Those disputed votes were all in Dem controlled precincts, and we know what would have happened after the umpteenth recounting.

    December 19, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  13. edward J baker

    The BIBLE Belt REpublican have always been Racist .The respondant was right when he included KKK Values ,
    Let`s see MISSISSIPPI ,ALABAMA,LOUISIANA TEXAS,just to name a few state with the biggest membership to both Church and the KKK.

    December 19, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  14. edward J baker

    WAY TO GO LEO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 19, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  15. bill in montgomery

    Yes, like I said: All we need is another comedian in Congress to go with the rest that are there, like Reid, Pelosi, Kennedy, Kerry, Frank, and Murtha. Maybe some day the Three Stoogies will run for Congress!

    December 19, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  16. John

    Well it's over, time for Norm Coleman to concede and get back into private life.

    December 19, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  17. Alan

    That the way to do it MN. The democrooks way to win – keep counting till it comes out the way you want it.

    MN you have been shamed!!!

    December 19, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  18. edward J baker

    Let`s not forget Ronald reagan as a comic and actor .
    Remember " Bedtime for Bonzo .
    Reagan became President ,why not Franken a senator .Are you anti -semetic ??????

    December 19, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  19. Tedra

    Abortion has been legal for 30 years you nitwits, not one time has Bush 1 or 2 tried to do away with it. Get real people. Oh yeah – it seems that Obama doesn't quite agree with you on marrying gays either – Rick Warren.

    Al Franken will humiliate MN. But thats what you want, so in a way I hope he gets it just to reveal what idiots you really are.

    December 19, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  20. Anonymous

    A bigger joke then FLORIDA?! You know nothing -MN has followed its recount procedures as stated in their state regs. As I recall Florida didn't even want to bother with ANy of the questionable ballots.
    To those who think that MN was better off with Norm as a Senator – then you're the ones who are nuts. Norm has done nothing to help the state of MN

    December 19, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  21. Rick

    Is anybody surprised by this? This is just routine lying, thieving and stealing by the democrats. There's nothing unusual here.

    December 19, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  22. John

    Of course its taking awhile Blago is doing the count and trying to make a buck

    December 19, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  23. josh

    Let's see, did the Bush administration achieve anything in the last eight years.....yes, lets try..... no acts of terrorism on American soil! Yes the economy sucks, but that was bound to happen, as for the last 30 years there have been multiple changes in policy with regard to lending put forth by both parties (staring with Carter). Yes, the rest of the world might not think of us as a benevolent uncle, but I bet they would realize how much they need us if we withdrew our foreign aid... since Dubya has been re-elected, there have not been any attacks (not just 9/11, but also OKC or Trade Center bombings). If there is one thing that any American can see that is positive, it is that Dubya has kept us safe at home.

    December 19, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  24. Chris

    There is one difference between Florida 2000 and Minnesota 2008. Both had incredibly close elections. Both had many lies told about "found ballots". Both had lies told about how those found ballots all went to a specific candidate. Both had high numbers of challenged ballots. Both had legal wrangling from both sides.

    The difference was that in Minnesota the law is being followed. The ballots are being counted in accordance with the law. Challenges are noted and the ballot set aside. The challenges are then later reviewed by a master board using state law that explicitly provides for using voter intent for challenged ballots. The counting is being done in an orderly manner with no stoppages.

    In Florida the required machine recount was ignored in several Republican counties (where they just reported the same numbers again instead of actually counting votes). The hand recount which, if requested, is required by law was not allowed to be completed. Voter intent, which is provided for in the Florida law was not taken into account. The whole process was subverted by the Secretary of State who had the stupidity to actually snicker when shutting down the counting and when rejecting recount results. This was helped along by legal wrangling by Republican lawyers and foot dragging by Republican counters (who knew that delays would ensure Republican victory because of deadlines for Presidential elections).

    Minnesota is doing it the way it is supposed to be done. Coleman's campaign is participating and making sure there is no funny business. Now everyone shut up and let them do their jobs.

    December 19, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  25. richard

    This country was great till Democrats took over congress. Now look at it. Who are you libs going to blame next year when the Obomanation makes us a third world nation.

    December 19, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
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