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#950033 --- 01/05/09 12:14 AM Panel to declare Franken winner of Senate race
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Registered: 01/09/06
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Panel to declare Franken winner of Senate race


From Chris Welch
CNN

MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota (CNN) -- A state election board on Monday will announce Democrat Al Franken has defeated Republican incumbent Norm Coleman in Minnesota's U.S. Senate race, state officials told CNN Sunday.

The canvassing board on Monday will say a recount determined Franken won by 225 votes, Secretary of State Mark Ritchie told CNN.

However, Coleman's campaign, which contends the recount should have included about 650 absentee ballots it says were improperly rejected in the initial count, has indicated it will challenge the certification.

Coleman campaign manager Cullen Sheehan said his team believes the recount process was broken and that "the numbers being reported will not be accurate or valid."

"The effort by the Franken campaign, supported by the secretary of state, to exclude improperly rejected absentee ballots is indefensible and disenfranchises hundreds of Minnesota voters," Sheehan said.

After the results are certified, Coleman's campaign will have seven days to file a challenge.

The initial count from the November 4 election put Coleman, a first-term senator, 215 votes ahead of Franken -- known for his stint on NBC's "Saturday Night Live" and as a former talk-show host on progressive radio network Air America.

The slim margin triggered an automatic recount.

During the recount, Franken's campaign alleged that thousands of absentee ballots had been improperly rejected and asked that they be counted. The state's Supreme Court eventually ordered that rejected absentee ballots be counted if local officials and each campaign could agree that the selected ballots were rejected mistakenly.

About 950 initially rejected absentee ballots were counted Saturday after all parties agreed on them. However, Coleman's campaign said about 650 other rejected absentee ballots -- many of them from pro-Coleman areas -- also were improperly rejected and should have been counted.

The Coleman campaign has also alleged that more than 100 ballots may have been accidentally counted twice and may have unfairly benefited Franken.

"When a candidate is leading because of double counted votes, and votes that get counted even when ballots don't exist, it clearly means that a [post-election challenge] is the only likely remedy to ensure a fair outcome," Sheehan said.

Franken's attorney, Marc Elias, in a statement said: "The next step is the canvass board's meeting tomorrow, where we have every expectation they will declare that Al Franken won this election."

Deputy Secretary of State Jim Gelbmann, who oversaw Saturday's tallying of the 950 improperly rejected absentee ballots, said the only thing left for the canvassing board to do Monday is certify the numbers. The board's meeting will convene at 2:30 p.m.

"Candidates may have objections or suggestions or comments that they want to make," Gelbmann said. "I would assume the canvassing board will allow that as long as they're brief."

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-New York and chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, issued a statement Sunday declaring Franken the winner and expressing confidence Franken would remain on top following any legal battle.

"There is no longer any doubt who will be the next senator from Minnesota," Schumer said. "Even if all the ballots Coleman claims were double counted or erroneously added were resolved in his favor, he still wouldn't have enough votes to win."

Schumer also said it is "crucial" Minnesota's second seat in the Senate not go empty, implying Franken should be seated when the rest of the Senate convenes to be sworn in Tuesday.

Minnesota's other seat is held by Sen. Amy Klobuchar, a Democrat.

Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, has pledged a GOP filibuster if the Democrat-controlled Senate attempts to seat Franken before all legal battles play out and before Minnesota's Gov. Tim Pawlenty, a Republican, can co-sign the secretary of state's certificate.

Ritchie said the state has no problem with not having two sworn-in senators Tuesday until the process is completed.

All AboutMinnesota Norm Coleman Al Franken U.S. Senate








Find this article at:
http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/01/04/minnesota.senate.race/index.html

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#950090 --- 01/05/09 01:43 AM Re: Panel to declare Franken winner of Senate race [Re: ]
threeputt Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/08/01
Posts: 2800
Loc: Waterloo
One can only hope.

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#950101 --- 01/05/09 01:54 AM Re: Panel to declare Franken winner of Senate race [Re: ]
HarleyBobT Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/22/08
Posts: 5106
Loc: Walloon Freedom Fighter
Schumer Proclaims Franken Winner In Minnesota

Sunday, January 4, 2009 4:30 PM


Ignoring the fact that a Minnesota canvassing board has still not announced its decision, U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer declared Sunday that Al Franken has won the Minnesota Senate recount against Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn.

With the Minnesota recount complete, it is now clear that Al Franken won the election. The Canvassing Board will meet tomorrow to wrap up its work and certify him the winner, and while there are still possible legal issues that will run their course, there is no longer any doubt who will be the next Senator from Minnesota, Schumer said in a statement reported by Politico.

Franken currently leads Coleman by 225 votes but Minnesota's Canvassing Board is not scheduled to declare a winner until tomorrow. Meanwhile, Coleman's campaign has filed a lawsuit with the state Supreme Court requesting that over 600 absentee ballots be added to the count that it believes were unfairly rejected.

Coleman argues that some ballots were counted twice during the recount. Republican Senate leaders are backing him on this allegation, too. If Coleman's campaign contests the results, Franken would not be certified as the official winner until all the legal challenges are resolved.

Sen. John Cornyn, the incoming chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, has said Republicans will block seating Franken in the Senate until a winner has been officially certified.

But Schumer, D-NY, the outgoing chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, seems to be dismissing the feelings of his Senate colleagues.

"With the Senate set to begin meeting on Tuesday to address the important issues facing the nation, it is crucial that Minnesota's seat not remain empty, and I hope this process will resolve itself as soon as possible," Schumer told Politico.
_________________________
Kristin Davis for NY State Governor,a hard working girl and the hottest candidate NY has ever seen.

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#950104 --- 01/05/09 01:58 AM Re: Panel to declare Franken winner of Senate race [Re: HarleyBobT]
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Registered: 01/09/06
Posts: 17154
Unfortunately, Chuck Schumer can't make that call - not at all - not under any circumstance.

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#950178 --- 01/05/09 03:07 AM Re: Panel to declare Franken winner of Senate race [Re: ]
HarleyBobT Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/22/08
Posts: 5106
Loc: Walloon Freedom Fighter
Originally Posted By: Festus!
Unfortunately, Chuck Schumer can't make that call - not at all - not under any circumstance.



No kidding!!!
_________________________
Kristin Davis for NY State Governor,a hard working girl and the hottest candidate NY has ever seen.

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#950183 --- 01/05/09 03:11 AM Re: Panel to declare Franken winner of Senate race [Re: HarleyBobT]
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Registered: 01/09/06
Posts: 17154
Originally Posted By: HarleyBobT
Originally Posted By: Festus!
Unfortunately, Chuck Schumer can't make that call - not at all - not under any circumstance.



No kidding!!!



You'd never know that you understood that, since you posted it the way you did. Maybe you should snort less powder?

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#950225 --- 01/05/09 04:43 AM Re: Panel to declare Franken winner of Senate race [Re: ]
LaughinWillow Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/12/01
Posts: 1950
Loc: State of Emergency
I wish that as soon as he was sworn in, Franken would revert to talking and dressing like Stuart Smalley. That would be awesome.
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War with civilization begins...
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#950326 --- 01/05/09 12:47 PM Re: Panel to declare Franken winner of Senate race [Re: LaughinWillow]
Retired Soldier Offline
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Registered: 12/23/05
Posts: 12945
Loc: Rochester, NY
Franken Looks Like a Winner, but Not Quite a Senator

By Chris Cillizza And Paul Kane
Monday, January 5, 2009; Page A03

He's good enough, he's smart enough, and, gosh darn it, he's a U.S. senator?

Not yet, but recent developments in the unending recount in Minnesota's Senate race have given entertainer Al Franken (D) a burst of momentum over Sen. Norm Coleman (R) and left national Democrats increasingly confident that the Gopher State will fall into their column sooner rather than later.

Although Franken trailed Coleman on election night, the Democrat -- thanks in part to the ace work of election lawyer Marc Elias -- has gained steadily ever since. A hand recount of the nearly 3 million ballots cast turned the race into a dead heat, and the recent counting of 933 wrongly rejected absentee ballots (don't ask) yielded a 225-vote edge for Franken heading into today's meeting of the state Canvassing Board, in which a winner -- presumably Franken -- will be named.

So, why won't Franken be a senator later today? Because of pending legal challenges that the incumbent's campaign thinks can sway the outcome -- the most important of which, dealing with the inclusion of 654 allegedly wrongly rejected absentee ballots (from largely pro-Coleman territory), will be decided by the Minnesota Supreme Court.

"We remain convinced that this process is broken and, as a result, the numbers being reported will not be accurate or valid," said Coleman's campaign manager, Cullen Sheehan.

Even if the state's highest court disallows the counting of those 654 ballots, expect Coleman's legal team to formally contest the recount, citing alleged irregularities that include the double-counting of roughly 150 votes and the inclusion of 133 ballots (cast, in a Dickensian twist, at a Minneapolis church) that disappeared between election night and the manual recount.

"The Coleman team has laid the groundwork for a real, substantive challenge in front of the Minnesota Supreme Court," said Vin Weber, a former member of Congress from Minnesota and now a lobbyist in Washington. "The race is still a ways from being over."


Democratic strategists, however, say that even if all of Coleman's challenges -- the 654 absentees, the double-counting and the church ballots -- fall the Republican's way, he still will not be able to overcome Franken's lead.

"With the Senate set to begin meeting on Tuesday to address the important issues facing the nation, it is crucial that Minnesota's seat not remain empty, and I hope this process will resolve itself as soon as possible," said Sen. Charles E. Schumer (N.Y.), former chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

Schumer isn't likely to get his wish when the incoming freshman Senate class is sworn in tomorrow. National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn (Texas) promised that his party would stage a filibuster if Democrats -- as suggested by Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar -- sought to seat Franken. "It is very clear that the people of Minnesota and the courts in Minnesota should make the decision about who won the Minnesota Senate election and not political leaders in Washington, D.C.," Cornyn said in a conference call with reporters late last week.

Privately, some Republican insiders are contemplating a next move for Coleman if he comes up short in the recount. One well-connected GOP operative said that Coleman is being mentioned as a possible chairman of the Republican National Committee.

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