Tags: Coleman | appeals | ballots

Coleman Appeals Minn. Ballot Decision to Supreme Court

Friday, 12 Dec 2008 04:30 PM

By David A. Patten

GOP Sen. Norm Coleman’s campaign has confirmed to Newsmax it will ask the Minnesota Supreme Court to step in and halt any recount of rejected absentee ballots, until uniform standards can be established.

Earlier today, in a major tactical victory for Democratic challenger Al Franken, Minnesota’s Canvassing Board unanimously voted to ask local officials to count any absentee ballots deemed to have been improperly rejected on Election Day.

That ruling followed a report to the Canvassing Board that as many as 1,600 of the 12,500 rejected ballots may have been set aside improperly.

“It looks like a significant number,” said Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, a Democrat who serves as the Board’s chairman. Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson, also a Democrat, recommended that the Board include the disputed ballots in the state’s final tally.

Coleman is asking that standards be developed for how a rejected ballot will be ruled valid or invalid, before the actual review takes place. Representatives of the Coleman campaign told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune that counties need consistent guidelines to go by.

“This is the kind of chaos the board has walked us into that we are trying to avoid,” Coleman attorney Tony Trimble told the media. He added that it is important votes be reviewed consistently by officials throughout the state.

The Supreme Court’s review may be complicated by the fact that two of its members, Chief Justice Eric Magnuson and Associate Justice G. Barry Anderson, serve on the Canvassing Board. They are expected to recuse themselves.

Coleman is holding onto a 192-vote lead following last week’s recount.

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