Senate recount timeline

  • Updated: April 13, 2009 - 10:29 PM

Nov. 4: Election Day. Late in the evening, the race between GOP Sen. Norm Coleman and DFL challenger Al Franken is too close to call.

Nov. 5: The morning after the election, Coleman has an unofficial 725-vote lead. By day's end, after adjustments, Coleman's lead is 477 votes.

Nov. 19: Hand recount begins with Coleman up by 215 votes.

Dec. 2: The secretary of state's office asks county election officials to examine 12,000 rejected absentee ballots and sort them by reasons for rejection, including a pile of ballots that may have been turned aside erroneously. The ballots are not to be counted, however.

Dec. 5: The recounting process concludes, with Coleman ahead by about 190 votes. Still to come are rulings on thousands of ballots challenged during the recount.

Dec. 18: The state Supreme Court rules 3-2 that improperly rejected absentee ballots should be identified and counted.

Dec. 19: The state Canvassing Board concludes its review of challenged ballots, and Franken now has an unofficial lead of 250 votes. However, votes from thousands of challenges withdrawn by the campaigns need to a reallocated. A draft listing shows Franken ahead by only 46 or 47 votes.

Jan. 3: The secretary of state's office counts 933 absentee ballots the two campaigns agree were wrongly rejected. Franken now leads by 225.

Jan. 5: Canvassing Board certifies recount results showing Franken on top by 225.

Jan. 6: Coleman files lawsuit challenging the results.

Jan. 26: Trial of Coleman's challenge opens. Much of his case involves trying to get rejected absentee ballots counted.

March 31: The presiding panel issues a ruling on rejected absentee ballots, saying about 400 should be reconsidered.

April 7: After further culling, 351 once-rejected ballots are counted, with Franken's lead growing to 312.

April 13: The panel rules in Franken's favor. Coleman vows to appeal to the Minnesota Supreme Court.

KEVIN DUCHSCHERE,

JIM KERN

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