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Minnesota Senate Race Heading to Recount

POSTED: 06:00 AM ET, 11/ 6/2008 by Derek Kravitz

Minnesota's incredibly close Senate race looks like it's headed for a recount, with the campaigns, lawyers and elections officials already gearing up for a long and bitter fight.

Republican Sen. Norm Coleman holds a slim 476-vote lead over Democrat Al Franken, out of nearly 2.9 million cast, but Coleman has already announced that he's won. In his victory speech yesterday, Coleman urged the former "Saturday Night Live" comedian to cancel a recount, which is automatically triggered when the popular vote difference between two candidates is less than 1 percent.

(The Associated Press originally called the race for Coleman but "uncalled" it at about 9 p.m. on Election Day, saying the report had been "premature.")

But Franken has indicated he wants to proceed with a statewide recount, which will cost about $86,000 and will likely spill into December.

He also said his campaign is investigating alleged voting irregularities at some polling places in Minneapolis, and that "a recount could change the outcome significantly," according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

"Let me be clear: Our goal is to ensure that every vote is properly counted," he said.

Minnesota's 18-page 2008 Recount Guide (pdf) makes one point that could skew results: Out-of-place marks made on ballots that are "close enough to a name or line to determine voter intent are counted."

As far as voting problems, few were officially reported aside from a power outage in St. Paul's Merriam Park neighborhood after a truck hit a utility pole. Two precincts were shut down for about 20 minutes.

Election Protection, the nonpartisan elections watchdog group, received about 700 calls from Minnesotans who had trouble voting on Tuesday, but most of those problems involved issues of identification and were resolved, officials said.

By Derek Kravitz |  November 6, 2008; 6:00 AM ET Election 2008
Previous: Government Oil Supervisor Pleads Guilty | Next: DHS Grants, Bridge Collapse Report, Email Black Boxes

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It is a travesty that Minnesota is this close to electing Franken, a vile man who made a living through racist and sexist "jokes." What is wrong with you, Minnesota?

Posted by: Darlene_Jr | November 5, 2008 9:23 PM

Al Franken is a good person. He did not make a living through racist and sexist "jokes". That is totally wrong. There is nothing wrong with Minnesota. What is wrong, is entirely with you!

Posted by: Taller1 | November 6, 2008 1:02 AM

"Minnesota's 18-page 2008 Recount Guide (pdf) makes one point that could skew results: Out-of-place marks made on ballots that are "close enough to a name or line to determine voter intent are counted."


SKEW results??? Quite inappropriate, loaded language. Mr. Kravitz could much more straightforwardly written "change results."

Posted by: edallan | November 6, 2008 7:52 AM

@Darlene_Jr I don't think there is anything wrong with us in Minnesota. We want to have all of our votes counted, regardless of who the votes are for. I want all of Norm Colemans votes, Dean Barkley's votes, Al Franken's votes and the write in's votes to be counted. It is my right, and it is your right to have your voice heard. It is too bad that you cannot see that where I come from, all votes are counted. What is wrong in the country are people like you who feel that their opinion is so much more important than than simply tallying the votes for ALL people, and not just the self righteous ones like you. Maybe the next time your in the voting booth you should think about that - should your vote be counted? How about the person standing next to you? There is nothing wrong with Minnesota, a place where ALL votes are counted, even the people we don't agree with.

Posted by: ckmunson | November 6, 2008 1:16 PM

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