×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Franken up 225 votes in Minn. recount

Former 'SNL' writer ahead in heated Senate race

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Victory in Minnesota’s drawn-out Senate race moved within Democrat Al Franken’s grasp Saturday when he increased his lead over Republican Norm Coleman as the statewide recount drew to a close.

The state Canvassing Board will reconvene Monday to declare which candidate received the most overall votes in the election. Barring court intervention, it will be Franken.

Franken’s lead now stands at 225 votes after gaining 176 votes more than Coleman in Saturday’s review of the formerly sealed absentee ballots. Franken started the day with a 49-vote advantage.

The 933 absentee ballots were among those rejected by poll workers but later found to be excluded in error. The campaigns eventually agreed they should be added to the recount.

Unless Coleman wins a pending court petition that seeks to add hundreds more ballots to the recount, the counting is done and the Canvassing Board can sign off on the result on Monday or Tuesday. The result cannot be certified for at least one more week under state law.

“We are confident since there are no ballots left to count the final margin will stand with Al Franken having won the election by 225 votes,” said Franken attorney Marc Elias.

The new total came on the day Coleman’s term as senator officially expired.

Senate Republican leaders have said the chamber shouldn’t seat Franken until all legal matters are settled, even if that drags on for months.

Coleman’s campaign has a pending request before the high court to include an additional 650 ballots that it said were improperly rejected but not forwarded by local officials to St. Paul for counting. The state Supreme Court has not said when it would rule in that case.

The Canvassing Board’s declaration of the winner of the recount opens a seven-day window for the losing candidate to challenge the result in court. Such a lawsuit could take months to resolve and leave Minnesota with only one senator for the time being.

Coleman hasn’t ruled out filing a lawsuit challenging the election result, claiming irregulaties gave Franken an unfair advantage. Coleman’s lead lawyer, Fritz Knaak, said the campaign was almost certain to sue.

“Ultimately I believe it’s going to be the senator’s decision based on our recommendation,” Knaak said. “At this point, my recommendation would be to move forward.”

Franken’s campaign has refused to outline its potential next steps.

Democratic Secretary of State Mark Ritchie said he doubted a lawsuit will get filed despite the tough talk.

“This is so accurate and has been done so carefully that the person with the least votes is going to say, ‘I’m disappointed, I’m sad, but I came in short this time,'” he said.

More Biz

  • Apple Event: Everything We Learned From

    Everything We Learned From Today's Apple Event

    After revealing new services in news, finance, and gaming, Apple CEO Tim Cook kept the biggest, most anticipated announcement until last. Cook, along with heads of worldwide video programming Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht, and a whole group of Apple’s creative talents, presented the company’s new Apple TV+ streaming service, which is slated to [...]

  • Wynn Nightlife Announces Residency for Roving

    Wynn Nightlife to Host Las Vegas Residency for Roving Spanish Party Elrow

    One of Las Vegas’ biggest music players is doubling down on the power of a global brand instead of just a single DJ to help them stay on top of Sin City’s increasingly competitive clubbing scene. Wynn Nightlife has announced a year-long residency and partnership with Spain’s Elrow, a respected Ibiza-born party that last year [...]

  • PledgeMusic Down to a ‘Skeleton Staff,’

    PledgeMusic Down to a ‘Skeleton Staff,’ Although a Potential Buyer Is in the Wings

    PledgeMusic, the direct-to-fan marketplace that has faced serious financial troubles in recent months, is down to a “skeleton staff” and payroll in the U.S. office ceased within the last month, sources close to the situation tell Variety, although a potential buyer is “very interested” in the company and has been in due diligence for several [...]

  • Michael Avenatti

    Michael Avenatti Arrested on Bank Fraud and Extortion Charges

    Attorney Michael Avenatti was arrested Monday and is facing federal charges on both coasts of bank fraud, misappropriating client funds, and trying to extort Nike. Prosecutors in the Southern District of New York allege that Avenatti tried to extract more than $20 million from Nike, and said that if the company did not pay him, [...]

  • Daily Show Viacom

    DirecTV, Viacom Avert Blackout After Marathon Negotiation

    DirecTV and Viacom have agreed on a carriage renewal pact covering a raft of Viacom’s cable channels after a marathon negotiation over the weekend. In a joint statement early Monday, the companies said: “We are pleased to announce a renewed Viacom-AT&T contract that includes continued carriage of Viacom services across multiple AT&T platforms and products. [...]

  • Discovery CEO David Zaslav Sees 2018

    Discovery CEO David Zaslav Sees 2018 Compensation Soar to $129.4 Million

    Discovery Inc. president-CEO David Zaslav is once again making headlines for an enormous compensation package. Zaslav’s 2018 compensation soared to $129.44 million in 2018, fueled by stock options and grants awarded as the longtime Discovery chief signed a new employment contract last July that takes him through 2023 at the cable programming group. Zaslav received [...]

  • Jonathan Lamy RIAA

    Jonathan Lamy Stepping Down From RIAA

    Jonathan Lamy, the Recording Industry Association of America’s longtime executive VP of communications and marketing, is stepping down from his post after 17 years, he announced today. As he put it in an email to Variety, “I started back in 2002, which means it’s been 17+ years, four different RIAA CEOs, three format changes and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content