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major wild card that remains are roughly 4,000 ballots that were originally challenged by the campaigns, who have since withdrawn those challenges.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. Danny in Chicago

    Go Al Go!!!!

    December 19, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  2. Locutus (of Borg)

    The Franken unit will prevail. Resistance is Futile.

    December 19, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  3. Dave

    This is getting shadier by the day.

    December 19, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  4. Debbie

    Yes and the Republicans are scrambling to find a way to insure that the votes aren't counted. I even note that the Governer is looking for a way to appoint someone .. a Republican, of course. Republicans are real big talking about freedom and liberty, until is runs counter to the party's interests.

    December 19, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  5. anonymous in Big D

    Would somebody puhleeeeeeeeeeeze put a stop to this idiot, Franken?

    December 19, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  6. Peter

    I dont care who wins, if Franken wins, Coleman will say he rigged it. If Coleman wins, Franken will say he rigged it. I will blame Dean Barkley for this arguement. I only hope Franken wins so I can tell my friends I was right, the Dems will stand with 59 senate seats

    December 19, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  7. Good news

    Normie,another one will soon bite the dust.

    December 19, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  8. RealityKing

    Minnesota has proven themselves a bigger joke than Florida. They deserve Senator Frankstein...

    December 19, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  9. naqib

    US study confirms the mean IQ in Minnesota is 54.
    Latest election results prove further back findings.

    Al Franken... wow... wonder how close PeeWee Herman was?

    December 19, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  10. RealityKing

    Counting the votes of people who can't follow directions? What's next, those that forgot to vote??

    December 19, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  11. therealist

    Apparently morons unable to follow directions are deciding Minnesota Senate race.

    December 19, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  12. sick n tired

    Minnesota should change it's name to North Florida!

    December 19, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  13. KJ

    I guess there really is no such thing as "qualification" any longer as it pertains to American Politics. You have got to be kidding about Al Franken becoming a U.S. Senator...what is happening to our country and what are the American people thinking when it comes to electing a qualified official. OMG this has got to stop!!

    Keep you chin up "Senator" Coleman...a true Senator and not a comic.

    December 19, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  14. Al Frankenstein

    I cannot be stopped.

    December 19, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  15. Steph

    Big, BIG smile:)

    December 19, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  16. That Other Jerry

    Oh, good, Franken's finally ahead. Now we dispense with the rest of the recount and get on with the swearing-in. May as well drop that annoying investigation of Coleman too. Won't need it now.

    December 19, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  17. Jackson

    Al, you're good enough, you're smart enough, and doggone it, people like you!!!

    December 19, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  18. Pete

    Riveting, can you please update us after each vote is counted.


    December 19, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  19. nickdog

    Get him Frank.

    December 19, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  20. CH in Maine

    I can't help but wonder what would have happened if Florida had worked as hard on their recount as MN. Think of it:
    No Iraq War.
    Victory in Afganistan
    A sensible energy policy
    Dick Cheny and George Bush as private citizens
    A justice department concerned with justice
    An EPA concerned about the environment

    Alas they did not. But I hope Florida 2000 has taught us a lesson: Count every vote!!!

    December 19, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  21. Laverne

    Slow walk him Al, slow walk him!

    December 19, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  22. DE

    Did anybody really think that they would quit counting until they "found" enough votes to put this absolute moron Franken in office? It will be interesting to see how much MSM airtime he gets while spewing his anti-american hate speech on the senate floor. His radio show went bankrupt because no one wanted to listen to his hatred and bigotry of America. Good job Minnesota, you have now become the laughing stock of the country.

    December 19, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  23. Who let the kids out?

    Al Franken will win it.It must be nice sitting in mom and dads house, never having worked a day in your life and making political comments on posting spots about subjects you dont have a clue about while you listen to am radio big mouths that fill your head full of lies.

    December 19, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  24. Gus Petrillo

    This is all very questionable. There is nothing to have prevented a partisan from rigging up all those "contested" ballots.

    December 19, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  25. karen-phoenix

    Go Al Franken!!!!

    December 19, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
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