Referring to the Minnesota Senate race recount on Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, Sean Hannity claimed Al Franken is challenging ballots "because he's trying to litigate his way into the Senate seat." But as of November 24, according to the office of the Minnesota secretary of state, Franken and Sen. Norm Coleman have challenged roughly the same number of ballots.
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On the November 24 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, while discussing the Minnesota Senate race between Democratic candidate Al Franken and incumbent Republican Sen. Norm Coleman, which is now in a recount, co-host Sean Hannity said of Franken: "I have all of these different ballots that he's questioning that clearly are Norm Coleman ballots, clearly, and he's questioning them because he's trying to litigate his way into the Senate seat." However, in claiming that Franken is "trying to litigate his way" into the Senate through ballot challenges, Hannity is ignoring a central fact: as of November 24, Franken and Coleman have challenged nearly the same number of ballots. According to the office of the Minnesota secretary of state, as of 8 p.m. CST on November 24, Coleman had challenged 1,400 ballots, while Franken had challenged 1,401 ballots.
Additionally, while Hannity said Franken is challenging ballots that "clearly are Norm Coleman ballots," he did not mention that Coleman is challenging ballots that appear to be marked for Franken, as Media Matters for America documented. The Bemidji Pioneer reported on November 22:
Franken recount attorney Marc Elias waved copies of 10 southeastern Minnesota ballots, citing them as examples of frivolous Coleman challenges.
Most of the ballots showed the voter marked the oval next to Republican John McCain's name in the presidential race, and then picked Democrat Franken in the Senate contest.
Coleman recount observers apparently challenged the ballots because they thought a voter would not pick both McCain and Franken.
But Elias said that in his view each of the ballots was "a textbook example of how to fill out an optical scan ballot."
When a reporter handed Coleman Campaign Manager Cullen Sheenan copies of two of the ballots, even he agreed it looked like Franken was the voters' choices.
From the November 24 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes:
HANNITY: There's a very important runoff December 2nd in the state of Georgia. If Al Franken -- and I argue -- and I have all of these different ballots that he's questioning that clearly are Norm Coleman ballots, clearly --
MORRIS: Right. Right.
HANNITY: -- and he's questioning them because he's trying to litigate his way into the Senate seat. And my question is: So, if Saxby Chambliss doesn't win in Georgia, this gives them their magic number of 60.
MORRIS: Yeah. The Republican Party is dead at that point. It has no role at all to play because you won't have 60. You'll have 60 votes in the Senate for the Democrats. And I've been pushing very, very hard for a group called GOPTrust.com that is running $1 million of ads in Georgia to elect Chambliss and defeat the Democrat.
Now, in the last couple of days, some of the liberals have lashed back at me, claiming that somehow I'm getting paid by this group, but the fact is that all they've done is buy ads on my website, like they buy ads in The New York Times. And I'm no more in cahoots with them than The New York Times is.
And this has all been fully disclosed in their disclosure statements. But I won't be intimidated by those groups. It is crucially important that every American who cares about the free enterprise system go online as soon as this show is over and [co-host] Alan [Colmes] makes his announcement, and get online to GOPTrust.com and give Chambliss the money he needs to win. Your whole future depends on it.
COLMES: But are you fundraising for Chambliss by doing that?
MORRIS: Yes, darned right I am, and give to Chambliss, too. When the whole future of the country is at stake on this, darned right I'm fundraising for him.