December 21st, 2008
04:09 PM ET
13 years ago

Minnesota Senate recount to resume this week

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Republican Sen. Norm Coleman, left, and Democrat Al Franken have swapped leads in Minnesota's Senate race."]
(CNN) - With somewhere between 1,000 and 2,000 ballots left to be processed, the recount in Minnesota's U.S. Senate race will resume this week and likely will not be resolved until the end of the month, Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie said Sunday.

A unofficial running tally on the Minneapolis Star Tribune's Web site had Democrat Al Franken leading incumbent Republican Sen. Norm Coleman by 251 votes
on Sunday - in a race in which nearly 2.5 million votes were cast - but Ritchie cautioned against pronouncing either candidate ahead until all votes are counted.

"From the first night of the election - election night, November 4 - it has been impossible to say which candidate was leading because it is not known
who's leading until all the ballots are counted," Ritchie said in an interview with CNNRadio.

"The many people who have been making pronouncements about who's ahead and who's behind are not speaking from a knowledge base. They are speculating."

Ritchie said the state canvassing board has completed the vast majority of the main work in the first round of the recount and board members will meet
Tuesday to finalize vote totals. That will leave between 1,000 and 2,000 wrongly rejected absentee ballots and about 150 overseas ballots left to be processed, he said.

"We had 99.97 percent agreement in the first round, that's with the candidates and the local election officials," Ritchie said.

Ritchie said the final decisions on the ballots left to be processed are due on December 31. The next meeting of the state canvassing board after that
date is scheduled for January 5, Ritchie said.

Asked what would happen if the election is not finalized by the time senators are sworn in in January, Ritchie said, "I don't know.

"It's somebody else's area of law. My only job is determine how the people of Minnesota voted on November 4."

- CNNRadio's Amanda Moyer contributed to this report.

soundoff (72 Responses)
  1. James

    Is there a misses Franken?

    December 21, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  2. Dave, Illinois

    Its time for some more "just discovered" ballots to show up, this time in Coleman's favor. Wait a minute, that only works for Democrats. What a joke this recount is.

    December 21, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  3. MrManhattan

    Are you watching, Florida?

    December 21, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  4. Ralph W

    Norm Coleman has got white teeth

    December 21, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  5. proudliberal-independent

    this is becoming ridiculous.

    December 21, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  6. Alice Newman Center Harbor NH

    On topic: Every vote counts – especially if people take the time to mark the ballot correctly!

    Off topic: Notice the article on Cheney and the "f" word didn't allow comments – afraid the number of people posting would cause the system to crash?

    December 21, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  7. yen

    Having worked so hard the second time round, they should make sure all the ballots are counted.

    December 21, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  8. Concerned Citizen

    All this shows across the board, is that the present methods of vote tabulations are subjective, to say the least.

    One method,,,,,, of irreputable accuracy, delivered in real time, must be developed..... REAL TIME TABULATION...... IRREPUTABLE ACCURACY,,,,,,, NATIONWIDE.......

    It does seem that Minnesota is giving just dues to accountability, with a painstaking effort of all concerned........ If the balance sways to the Dem ticket,,,, it would seem that the Rep ticket was all too quick to try and close the election as FINAL...... If Franken does indeed exceed that of Coleman,,,,,,, all eyebrows should be turned towards Colemans objections of counting ALL BALLOTS........ What was he thinking??????

    December 21, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  9. Dennis, Amarillo Texas

    Well, this election should tell Obama where to spend $500 million dollars to spur the economy. Minnesota just proved over 1.3 million of their citizens are lunatics, they all voted for Franken, and they are all on the loose.

    December 21, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  10. Don

    Seems no matter what this thing will end up in litigation. Coleman was announced the winner, Franken files a lawsuit. Recount calls Coleman a winner, Franken will file another lawsuit. The only way Franken will win this is by a lawsuit, and it seems he will keep this in litigation until the next election. Franken just needs to go away, and allow the people whose votes have already spoken, stand, BUT he won't. Why you say, because the Democrats are just that way.

    December 21, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  11. George Washington

    This is 2008, Mr. Chaney. Not 2004. This is probably part of why you were such a grand VP.

    December 21, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  12. Dawn From Ada

    Go Al Go!!!

    December 21, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  13. Minn. needs help

    either canidate will be a freak show

    December 21, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  14. Texas Teacher

    Wow... that is really close! Well, I'm banking on Al Franken! 🙂

    December 21, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  15. SR

    This seat is very important for our country and our future. We need all the positive votes to get our GREAT COUNTRY healthy again. Repeat after me: FRANKEN FRANKEN FRANKEN !!!

    December 21, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  16. barry holman

    You must be looking at an old StarTribune paper or something because there isn't a news source anywhere that has had Al Frankfurter up or within 200 votes of Coleman.

    December 21, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  17. prosanto

    With our inability to conduct proper election and unable to count votes fairly on timely basis, we go around the World preaching democracy calling other nations names. Give me a break.

    December 21, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  18. Irritated in Fl

    This is a perfect example of voter fraud. If the votes themselves are not fraudulent, then the people counting them are! It's criminal whats taking place in Minn. The people spoke, they cast their ballots and the Democratic party is pulling out all kinds of tricks to steal this election. Oh...just like with Obama too huh? We are in BIG trouble in this country.

    December 21, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  19. sunshine

    it goes like this, 1-2-3- etc. get it???

    December 21, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  20. alvino

    Hang in there Big Al, it is almost over!

    December 21, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  21. reggie

    Franken should go back to telling jokes. Actually, he was not very good at that either. No way is he capable of being a US Senator. I know all the dems want him regardless, but that's just plain ignorant. Coleman will win, in the end. AND so will the people of Minnesota.

    December 21, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  22. inuk of the north

    Franken was in the Senate a few weeks ago – did he know the outcome in advance?

    Franken is to the Senate what sticky stuff is to the dog park.

    December 21, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  23. Te

    Could Senator Clinton do one practical thing before leaving office, and that is to stop Mayor Bloomberg from increasing fares on buses and subways !!!

    December 21, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  24. Presidency

    Imagine Al Franken or Michelle Robinson Obama, following the footsteps of Hilalry Clinton, as our future commander in chief in a dangerous world.

    December 21, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  25. Dylan from MN

    Since the election has been over I was almost certain Coleman was going to take it. But now, it looks as though Franken's going to pull it off, if he does, it will be a very pleasent surprise. 🙂

    December 21, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
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