Nearly 4,800 rejected absentee ballots may be reconsidered in the U.S. Senate recount trial, after the presiding three-judge panel issued a ruling today defining boundaries for the proceeding.Franken could widen his lead, or Coleman could gain, it could go either way at this point. We're not quite back to square one on the recount of the recount, but eventually somebody's going to rule that the recount has to stop, and then it will go in front of the US Supreme Court.
The court granted Democrat Al Franken’s request to limit the universe of ballots that Republican Norm Coleman can seek to have counted, rejecting Coleman’s attempt to have about 11,000 rejected absentee ballots reconsidered. But Franken had asked the judges to limit the review to only the 650 ballots cited by Coleman when he filed his lawsuit last month challenging the recount.
With Franken holding a 225-vote lead after the recount results were certified, the 4,800 ballots that may be reconsidered would appear to be enough to put the ultimate outcome in doubt.
The court order indicates that any of the ballots that complied with state law should be counted, along with those where errors occurred through no fault of the voter.
But the order limits Coleman to presenting evidence on those ballots specifically disclosed to the Franken legal team by Jan. 22.
Coleman lawyer Fritz Knaak said he believes that the number is about 4,800, and Franken spokeswoman Jess McIntosh said that was also her understanding.
There may not be a second senator from Minnesota for another three months, if not longer.