News & Election Videos

December 22, 2008

Franken leading Coleman by 48 votes

It looks like Al Franken’s campaign attorney Marc Elias was on the money when he predicted that Franken would be leading by “between 35 and 50 votes” when all the disputed ballots were counted.

Franken is leading Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.) by 48 votes, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, which obtained a draft report from the secretary of state’s office. The report is slated to be released publicly tomorrow morning.

That number includes nearly all of the ballot challenges from both campaigns. 

The Coleman campaign said the 48-vote lead is "artificial" and is arguing that election officials double-counted some 130 ballots in Franken's favor.  The Coleman campaign filed suit with the state Supreme Court on that issue, and it will be hearing the case tomorrow.

“The fact that over 100 votes have been double-counted, overwhelmingly benefiting Al Franken, simply underscores the fact that their lead is not real,” said Coleman campaign manager Cullen Sheehan in a statement.

There are also approximately 1,600 absentee ballots that were mistakenly rejected that will be counted before the vote is certified. Franken’s campaign has said it expects to gain additional votes from that pile.