Minnesota Recount: Happy New Year!

posted at 2:30 pm on December 23, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

You’ll be saying that before you say, “Minnesota’s Senator is [fill in the blank],” according to Secretary of State Mark Ritchie.  The preliminary numbers that he will submit today to the Canvassing Board shows Franken up 48 after the ballot challenges, but no one expects that number to remain static, and the board won’t resolve any of the open questions until 2009:

Minnesota voters won’t know who won the state’s U.S. Senate race this year, and it’s looking more likely that the new Congress will be sworn in before the race ends between Democrat Al Franken and Republican incumbent Norm Coleman.

The state Canvassing Board on Tuesday scheduled a Jan. 5 meeting and its chairman said the panel’s work could spill into Jan. 6 — the day the next Congress convenes.

Franken leads Coleman with an increasingly small number of ballots yet to consider. A draft report by the secretary of state’s office has Franken up by 48 votes. The board was meeting Tuesday to discuss that report, although corrections to it won’t be done until next week. …

Coleman’s campaign is disputing the allocation of some challenged ballots, which would add up to a 49 vote swing in the incumbent’s favor. Franken’s campaign has also brought some potential errors to the board’s attention, which it says amounts to 43 potential votes in the Democrat’s favor.

Coleman is also disputing some of the duplicate ballots, alleging that over 130 of them got mistakenly counted twice.  Duplicate ballots get created by precinct officials from absentee ballots that can’t get properly read by the optical-scan machines.  The officials in the precinct are supposed to label the duplicates so they don’t get tallied in a hand recount, which Coleman’s team says happened in this case.  The Supreme Court will rule on that today.

But that won’t end things, either.  Up to 1600 absentee ballots may get added into the count, depending on how the board structures the rules.  No one knows what those ballots hold, because they have remained sealed since arriving in the precincts.  It could take at least a week just to set the ground rules.

In other words, we’ll keep an eye on things, but don’t expect a resolution before 2009, and probably not until after the 111th Congress begins its session.

Update (AP): Coleman’s putting on a brave face but there’s a tinge of resignation in this:

“I feel fairly confident. In the end, the good Lord’s going to decide,” Coleman told the local Fox affiliate. “The numbers look good to us. Certainly there’s uncertainty. I’m not worried about it. I’ve done everything I can do. I’m not really agonizing about the outcome.”

Coleman went on: “Life goes on, regardless of what your job is. I certainly love what I do. If I can keep doing it, I’ll be thrilled, and if not, I’m sure we’ll do something else.”

Meanwhile, at Republican Pop, a look-in on what his opponent was up to in the early 80s.


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Keep the faith, Coleman. Maybe this time reason will prevail and the voters will indeed decide the victor.

Merry Christmas!

savvydude on December 23, 2008 at 2:33 PM

Keep the faith, Coleman. Maybe this time reason will prevail and the voters will indeed decide the victor.

Merry Christmas!

savvydude on December 23, 2008 at 2:33 PM

We are talking about Democrats here. A reason free zone.

MarkTheGreat on December 23, 2008 at 2:37 PM

If at first you don’t succeed…recount until the numbers reflect what you want them to.

If the people of Minnesota let Franken steal the election, they deserve him.

kingsjester on December 23, 2008 at 2:38 PM

Stewart Smalley goes to the Senate…

And I vomit all over my keyboard.

Mr. Joe on December 23, 2008 at 2:42 PM

Coleman’s putting on a brave face but there’s a tinge of resignation in this:

He’s realized that the Democrats have successfully stolen another election. When the fix is in, you can’t do much more than put your best face forward.

Rogue on December 23, 2008 at 2:45 PM

In the end, the good Lord’s going to decide
Sorry Norm, the decidin’s over.

Democrats 1
Good Lord 0

pistolero on December 23, 2008 at 2:59 PM

Coleman might as well pack it up and go home . . . the fix was in on this deal from the very beginning. The court jester has won this election and George Soros has scored another triumph. Sad but true.

rplat on December 23, 2008 at 2:59 PM

“I feel fairly confident. In the end, the good Lord’s going to decide,” Coleman told the local Fox affiliate.

Obama’s going to pick the winner?

zmdavid on December 23, 2008 at 2:59 PM

What was it Lenin said.

It doesn’t matter who votes, what matters is who counts the votes. In any district where Democrats control the election machinery, no vote is safe until the Democrat wins.

MarkTheGreat on December 23, 2008 at 3:00 PM

Before you all start ragging on Minnesota yet again, I want known that I did everything I could to prevent this debacle, which included the supreme effort of persuading Mrs, Strozek NOT to vote for Franken but to instead cast a ballot for Norm. She assures she did and here’s the result: http://gatewaypundit.blogspot.com/2008/12/franken-takes-lead-in-mn-senate-race.html#links Mrs. Strozek’s casts a challenged ballot that gets counted for Weird Al anyway.
Just sayin…we tried but the DFL Sec. State Mark Ritchie/ ACORN cheat machine has us outgunned.

Bruno Strozek on December 23, 2008 at 3:02 PM

OFFS, Fraken needs to drop dead and stop harrassing everyone concerning this election.

upinak on December 23, 2008 at 3:03 PM

The resignation comes from this: he’ll have to keep fighting this in the courts and, unlike Franken, Norm has limited financial resources. Norm isn’t independently wealthy; Franken is. And Al seems to have all the money he needs from other sources, too.

If the court challenges go Norm’s way, he wins. If not, he loses, because he’ll not be able to continue litigating this thing forever.

Mr. D on December 23, 2008 at 3:03 PM

Does it really matter at this point? The fact that Coleman is in a recount with Franken tells you everything you need to know about Coleman–not Franken. This election should not have been even close.

patrick neid on December 23, 2008 at 3:11 PM

Minnesota is the new Florida

So now we will get this idiot Franken and Princess Schlossberg in the Senate. 2009 will be a fun year.

grdred944 on December 23, 2008 at 3:12 PM

The Mick Jagger thing on Republican Pop is truly awful. It isn’t comedy as much as self-indulgent, poorly performed, karaoke. Franken was never very good at comedy. He’d be an even worse senator.

dedalus on December 23, 2008 at 3:23 PM

Don’t go insulitng Florida by comparing it to Minnesota. The Goofer State is the biggest joke in the Union. Even bigger jokes are the so-called conservatives and Republicans in the state. They ought to be marching in the streets against this atrocity but instead they’re bending over meekly and taking it. Minnesota’s so-called “conservatives” deserve Al Franken but the rest of the country damn sure doesn’t. Go to hell, Minnesota. I hope the bubonic plague hits your sorry excuse of a state.

Percy_Peabody on December 23, 2008 at 3:29 PM

I have close relatives in Minnesota and for the life of me I cannot understand why they keep voting in wrestlers, weirdos and worse. I would ask them but I know they would throw their shoes at me and in the wintertime… ouch!

Mr_Magoo on December 23, 2008 at 3:42 PM

So now we will get this idiot Franken and Princess Schlossberg in the Senate. 2009 will be a fun year.

grdred944 on December 23, 2008 at 3:12 PM

The Princess and the Court Jester. Perfect.

Mr_Magoo on December 23, 2008 at 3:43 PM

WAIT!! What is this box under my desk?! It is a thousand absentee ballots all marked for Coleman!! OMG – who do I call??!!

warriorlawyer on December 23, 2008 at 3:53 PM

In the end, the good Lord’s going to decide
Sorry Norm, the decidin’s over.

Democrats 1
Good Lord 0

pistolero on December 23, 2008 at 2:59 PM

Not so fast. The good Lord is just showing us what you get when you become a nation full of godless cretins.

kirkill on December 23, 2008 at 3:59 PM

The Princess and the Court Jester. Perfect.

Mr_Magoo on December 23, 2008 at 3:43 PM

Hey, watch it, y’all. I’m actually funnier than Stuart Smalley. And people actually like me.

He’ll be the finest Senator money can buy.

kingsjester on December 23, 2008 at 4:15 PM

Not so fast. The good Lord is just showing us what you get when you become a nation full of godless cretins.

What do you mean godless cretins? Obama is going to get sworn in on Abraham Lincoln’s Bible! The last President to do that saw the country in a Civil War within a year or so. Oh, the irony.

Actually, I was expecting a Koran to be honest with you.

pistolero on December 23, 2008 at 4:16 PM

Don’t even really care anymore. Coleman’s nickname should be “Minnesota McCain”.

I’m getting to the point that I’m thinking Senator Franken will be better for the GOP than Senator Coleman, because he’s guaranteed to do stupid stuff and we can make him the face of the Democratic Party.

Jim62sch on December 23, 2008 at 4:17 PM

Go to hell, Minnesota. I hope the bubonic plague hits your sorry excuse of a state.

Percy_Peabody on December 23, 2008 at 3:29 PM

Merry Christmas to you, too.

Mr. D on December 23, 2008 at 4:17 PM

. . . and Bozo’s the winner by a clown nose!

Mark30339 on December 23, 2008 at 4:23 PM

Just hold a new election already! Wouldn’t that be much simpler?

BierManVA on December 23, 2008 at 4:28 PM

Just hold a new election already! Wouldn’t that be much simpler?


Simple wasn’t the point. Chaos and agitation are effective tools to assure the right outcome. That and stacking the deck with your own vote counters and judges.

pistolero on December 23, 2008 at 4:35 PM

Those who cast the votes decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything.
- Josef Stalin

MB4 on December 23, 2008 at 4:35 PM

Minnesota is a nutt house. Anyone voting for Al Frankin belongs in a mental institution to be sure. They get what they diserve. Frankin is just an “anyguy” for Minnesota, and their voting performance bares that out.

saiga on December 23, 2008 at 4:42 PM

Watching the US government turn to $hit right before my very eyes is no fun. Just like the Roman Empire, the US is crunbling from within. When they let all the carp into the trout pond, the fishing quality dropped like a box of sinkers.

saiga on December 23, 2008 at 4:48 PM

Coleman went on: “Life goes on, regardless of what your job is. I certainly love what I do. If I can keep doing it, I’ll be thrilled, and if not, I’m sure we’ll do something else.”

Reminds me of that scene in The Kingdom when the FBI boss basically says, paraphrased, “Every job ends, it’s just a question of whether you go out standing up for the right things, or doing what’s politically expedient.”

Regardless of what happens, Coleman will go out a lot better than Franken does anything.

PastorJon on December 23, 2008 at 5:15 PM

Funny how these “recounts” inevitably lead to more votes for Democrat/Socialists, isn’t it?

Single-party rule, a complicit entertainment and news media, election fixing, and the quasi-nationalization of industry already underway. I fear the dark age of American Fascism is finally upon us–and with apologies to Woodrow Wilson and FDR, who each did their best in that department, this time I expect it’s to stay.

Blacklake on December 23, 2008 at 5:46 PM

The 111 congress can’t convene without the Minnesota Senator, so the Dems in the Senate will simply seat Frankin. One way or another, Frankin goes to DC (Democrat Controlled)

TimothyJ on December 23, 2008 at 5:47 PM

Umm,maybe this should be made into a movie,or
weekly real-life drama series,that way,I can
watch it on HBO,and then,I might get an insight
into how long this will go!(Sarc!).

How about,Coleman and Franken share power,maybe
like a political split shift,kinda!*

*And,I can’t believe I typed that,must be the
strong early Christmas Tea!!haha

canopfor on December 23, 2008 at 6:57 PM

I agree with other comments, you have to wonder how Coleman could lose to a clown like Franken. With the vote count this close, you have to wonder if another round of elections wouldn’t be in order.

Having said that, it does appear that the ballot counting process has been more reliable, consistent, and transparent than Florida.

bayam on December 23, 2008 at 7:16 PM

I’m pretty sure I know what Franken’s acceptance speech is going to be–anyone remember his Stuart Smalley bit on SNL?

In all seriousness, I’m going to prary for the good folks in Minnesota that it doesn’t happen.

m064404 on December 23, 2008 at 7:31 PM

Coleman is also disputing some of the duplicate ballots, alleging that over 130 of them got mistakenly counted twice.

Coleman is out of his mind. Those ballots were not mistakenly counted twice, they were deliberately counted twice. And if Coleman’s lead had been larger, they would have been counted three times.

rmgraha on December 23, 2008 at 7:39 PM

There is no God.

FalseProfit on December 23, 2008 at 9:30 PM

There is no God.

FalseProfit on December 23, 2008 at 9:30 PM

God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh.
- Voltaire

MB4 on December 23, 2008 at 9:37 PM

If the state legislature had any guts, they’d invalidate the recount and require a new runoff election without the third-party candidate.

MrLynn on December 23, 2008 at 10:20 PM

I actually don’t mind that kind of attitude from Coleman. It certainly beats the DFL attitude of “we must win, we must win everything, we must do anything and everything to win.”

Life’s too short. Seriously.

Red Cloud on December 24, 2008 at 3:30 AM

dedalus on December 23, 2008 at 3:23 PM

And on top of that, the clip was over three minutes without even one shot of the Solid Gold Dancers.

Snowed In on December 24, 2008 at 10:35 AM