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wild card that remains are roughly 4,000 ballots that were originally challenged by the campaigns, who have since withdrawn those challenges.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

    If this were not about a real U.S. Senate seat at stake in Minnesota, it would be the biggest joke yet on SNL.

    Chris from NC

    December 19, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  2. jim in Michigan

    If they can't agree who won, the U.S. S upreme court will not be involved this time as it was in 2000. this time the U.S. Senate will decide. Guess who wins THIS time. LIVE FROM WASHINGTON IT'S ALL FRANKEN!

    December 19, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  3. Ken

    Way to go, dems!!!! You have officially turned us into Venezuela!!!!

    Nice work!

    December 19, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  4. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    To the GOP in Minnesota:

    This is what happens when you don't hire Karl Rove to "manage" your elections!!!

    See the job he did for fearless "Jet-Pilot" in 2000 and 2004 – even going so far as to having the very partisan Supreme Court decide who the president should be in 2000?!?!?!

    It's a new day in America, GOP; jump on board for the big win!!!

    December 19, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  5. GOP=Epic Fail

    How retarded does a person have to be to not know how to fill in a bubble rather than just putting an x over the bubble????

    CNN that pic is priceless.

    December 19, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  6. dave g, minneapolis

    @grahame December 19th, 2008 1:37 pm ET

    .....And most important, The fundamental right of the American Constitution which says that every man is created equal. I refuse to except a government that spies on it's citizens, and personally will do everything in my power to make sure that does not happen again.
    So Goodbye Republicans. Take your KKK values and just fade into history. 'Good Riddance to bad Rubbish.'........
    So, I guess you're saying you voted Libertarian this year!! I'm glad you did, because both Obama and McCain voted to continue spying on the public without a warrant (FISA). And Obama just showed his constituency that Gay and Lesbians don't really matter by his choice of pastor for the inauguration. Anyone who thinks that the Democrats or Republicans are doing ANYTHING to support the basic tenets of the Constitution are sorely mistaken.

    So, you want bailouts, spying, distribution of wealth through income tax and on and on then keep voting for Democrats and Republicans...

    December 19, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  7. Ken

    Congrats Al. Keep those votes coming! Let's try to pull MN further out of Dumbf-kistan and into the "blue"!

    Another case of the smart one winning this year.

    I so enjoy listening to the hypocrisy of [R]s screaming how [D]s are stealing the election in MN, even as MN is doing a much superior and much more transparent job than FL did in 2000. And just who will be first in court, paying those "liberal" lawyers big sums of money, when the results don't go his way.......NC that's who!... and I'll be LMFAO at all you reactionary, "liberal" neo-tards out there.

    This might come as a newsflash to all you rightwingers: "conservative" does not mean having your nose stuck up Bush's hind-quarters for 6 years. I hope all you Coleman die-hards aren't just fly-by-night supporters, and that you'll continue to show your support for him beyond this election BY VISITING HIM IN HIS JAIL CELL!

    December 19, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  8. Jackson

    Marc December 19th, 2008 12:48 pm ET

    The liberal way. If you can't win, cheat until you can.


    The Republican Way, keep repeating a lie until you get people to believe it.

    December 19, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  9. Gene

    This is like extending a football game an extra 3 quarters so the losing team has a chance to catch up.

    There must be something in that water up there... they should send the EPA to test all those 1000 lakes for mind altering pollutants.

    December 19, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  10. Get over it

    I wonder how many more ballots will be found in somebodies car trunk?????

    The democRATs will manage to steal the MN election just like the democRATs stole one in the state of Washington a couple of years ago. They just kept counting and counting and counting until the democRAT won and then would not allow for another recount. The republican won the 1st 4 vote counts and then lost the 5th and was not allowed to challenge it.

    December 19, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  11. why spew the hate????

    No wonder why kids are bullying other kids. You all really know how to be negative and full of hate. One can't help to think that these blogs mirror the real way America works and acts. People, take a lesson from your Kindergarden years and learn to respect and maybe just maybe we will get out of this mess we are in!

    Sixth Grade Teacher, Hawaii

    December 19, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  12. Kpawlak

    Looks like Porno-Al he is successfully stealing this election.
    Way to go Minnesota!

    December 19, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  13. Hi, I'm Al Effn Franken

    I'll keep countin' and countin' until I get the right number. Hey, look! I just found a dozen more uncounted votes under my fat arse!

    December 19, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  14. Leo

    Republicans suck and have no business running anything after what they've done the past 8 years. Franken got the votes. Then, he wins. Plain and simple. You right wingers weren't this upset when Bush stole the election in 2000 via Florida. Or, 2004 when the skunk stole Ohio. Deal with it, losers.

    December 19, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  15. Ken

    Hey Queasy: you feeling a little upset today? I feel sooo sorry for you! Too bad. If you feel bad today, I can't imagine the vomit you must have been spewing on Nov. 5th....but no big deal, you neo-nutzi's have been spewing garbage on the rest of America for decades.

    Have a good next 4-8 years of continual upset stomachs. You neo-morons deserve it, after inflicing the current idiot-in-charge on the rest of us for the last 8 years. I for one am reveling in your pain!

    December 19, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  16. Really

    This looks more shady everyday. It is amazing that Franken continues to "find" more votes for him. The only way this should be handled is a runoff. Votes have been lost and votes may have been double counted. If you can not follow directions, then your vote should not count. I do not care for which side you are on. The directions are very clear. Fill in the oval. It even gives you an example. I think an X through the person means that you want that person stricken from the ballot.

    December 19, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  17. Johnny Badger

    Great. Bozo the Clown joins the US Senate, along with the California woman with the plastic face.

    December 19, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  18. Johnny Badger

    ...and, by the way, why should this suprise me. After all, this is coming from the same state that elected a professional wrestler to be their governor.

    December 19, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  19. Jeff

    grahame December 19th, 2008 1:37 pm ET

    Some Day people will look back at a political party that that almost ruined the USA. That was the hate-filled Republican Party.
    The future, thank God, has arrived.
    That means 'The right to choose abortion.'
    The right for 'Gays and Lesbians to marry.'
    And most important, The fundamental right of the American Constitution which says that every man is created equal.
    I refuse to except a government that spies on it's citizens, and personally will do everything in my power to make sure that does not happen again.
    So Goodbye Republicans. Take your KKK values and just fade into history. 'Good Riddance to bad Rubbish.'

    Are you serious?!?!? KKK values? Your opinion may vary from others, and you may feel very strong about your opinion. But a statement like this shows me that you are an ignorant person that is no better than the people you smear. You disgust me. Take your opinion and run away. Your point did not need your KKK values in it. Now you are no better than the members of that disgusting group.

    December 19, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  20. Mike in Philly

    Joe, Chicago IL December 19th, 2008 1:25 pm ET

    "How can the election commision certify these 100 votes when the receipt is dated 2 days before the general election?"

    Absentee ballots, mailed early.

    "If states can find a way to run the lottery, electronically, why is it so hard to handle receipts from electronic voting machines?"

    Min doesn't vote electronically (obviously, if you've seen the hand written ballots). So there are no receipts from electronic voting machines in Minn.

    December 19, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  21. MT from Texas

    The only thing I've learned from this recount and the Florida recount is this ....

    There's only one party that has a monopoly on voters who aren't smart enough to vote correctly ... DEMOCRATS

    I'm not sure how proud I'd be to keep touting that my party can't vote correctly, so we need to RE-count every vote. And then, after 8 years you'd think you could teach your voters on how to vote ... but nope ... still full of idiots.

    I'm not sure we can trust teh Democrats on improving education in this country ... they seem content with building a consensus of morons. Must be becuase they are easier to control and manipulate. Poor souls.

    December 19, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  22. Get over it

    My, my, how ANGRY the democRATs are even though their town idiot Al Franken is now winning.

    And these are the same people that elected former pro wrestler Jesse Ventura to be their governor a few years back.

    It just wants to make me laugh !!!!!!!!!

    December 19, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  23. Phil

    Good Lord...All Franken as a Senator...that's about as funny as SNL...wait a second, SNL isn't funny.

    December 19, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  24. Jeff

    Leo: The past 2 years have been run with a Democratic Congress. Look it up, it's true. While you are looking that up, see where unempolyment rates were 2 years ago. Look up where housing interest rates were 2 years ago. Kinda makes your statement look dumb huh? It's ok, you were just being the good sheep you are to the democratic party.

    December 19, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  25. GuyInVA

    Well Leo, it seems Coleman got the votes on November 4. Then he wins, right? I know state law calls for a recount, but regardless of the outcome, the electoral process in Minnesota has ZERO credibility. Miscounts, recently discovered ballots with no chain of custody, etc. They are to the point of "divining voter intent." No matter who wins, he will always be suspect in the mind of half the Minnesota voters, and somewhere around 100% of voters everywhere else (although his out of state political supporters would never admit it). Oh by the way, the oddest thing happened yesterday. I opened my trunk and found.. wait, how many votes is Franken's lead? 102? Got it. As I was saying, I found 103 Minnesota ballots in my car trunk yesterday. Weird.

    December 19, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
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