Coleman suffers setback in court

  • Article by: PAT DOYLE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 24, 2008 - 9:11 PM

State Supreme Court decision keeps disputed ballots in the vote count for now, but Coleman's lawyers are vowing to press on.

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markgrebnerDec. 24, 0811:47 AM

There's no link to the order, so I'm basing this solely on Pat Doyle's reporting, but it sounds like the real news isn't the extension, but the substitution of a rational system for counting the additional absentee ballots. The previous order, which could have been written by Rodney King, ("Can't we all just get along?") was simply not going to work. The two campaigns had diametrically opposite interests, and the Supreme Court incompetently gave EACH of them a veto over how to proceed. Now, according to Doyle, the Secretary of State will make an initial determination, and then each campaign will have a chance to challenge it, presumably by the same method of arguing before the Canvassing Board. Somebody's already quoted Churchill, but his wisdom bears repeating: "Americans almost always do the right thing in the end, after exhausting all the alternatives." Certainly applies to the State Supreme Court in this case.

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abowers13Dec. 24, 0811:49 AM

When Coleman went to court to stop the sorting of absentee ballots into 5 piles - with counties putting WRONGLY rejected ballots in a 5th pile, the counties stopped the sorting. The Minnesota Supreme Court ordered wrongly rejected absentee ballots counted. So my question is - Have the counties restarted the sorting process? Some counties were almost done but some, like Ramsey, had refused to start. Will Coleman and Franken challenge the county determination of what was WRONGLY rejected? When will the Star Trib update its recount sites? One site STILL has Colemn leading by 188. Impatient observer.

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abowers13Dec. 24, 0811:58 AM

The counties had stopped all sorting of absentee ballots when Coleman took the case to court. However the Minnesota Supreme Court decided that WRONGLY rejected absentee ballots must be counted. Question: Have the counties started sorting again? What about Ramsey that refused to participate? Fascinated Observer

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ralphhooperDec. 24, 0812:04 PM

I think that you have misread the article. My understanding is that the process for determining which absenteee ballots were improperly rejected will remain the same, with the Coleman and Franken camps and the county having to agree. The difference is that that the UNOPENED ballot envelopes will then be sent to the Sec. of State. The Sec. of State's office will then count the ballots and the two candidates will have the opportunity to challenge any votes allocated from that count. The main concern here was that having the counties count the ballots could undermine the concept of a secret ballot. For example, if county A has only 1 absentee ballot and awards another vote to either candidate, everyone would know who that one absentee voter voted for.

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emersonjDec. 24, 0812:12 PM

A lot of the stolen election talk comes from John Lott. John Lott has been famously wrong in the past, and he's wrong about the Coleman-Franken recount. Links: http://www.minnpost.com/braublog/2008/12/22/5476/john_lott_wrong_again http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2008/12/fox-news-finds-typo-blames-liberal.html http://www.minnpost.com/braublog/2008/12/19/5441/recount_how_lott_misleads http://www.salon.com/opinion/conason/2008/11/17/franken/

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theprinceDec. 24, 0812:18 PM

I have an image of some well-intentioned professionals trying to do what's right while around them rages the food fight from Animal House. I am confident that the process at work will get to something resembling fairness. As someone who voted for Norm Coleman when he was a Democrat I cannot help but express my contempt for the Savage-Nation, Fox-News pandering that has made him the darling of the lunatic-fringe right. This is a state that sent Frank B. Kellogg to the Senate. We are now represented by this perfectly unprincipled creature that makes Jesse Ventura look like a statesman. If he doesn't lose this time we can wait.

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johnelDec. 24, 0812:18 PM

I am very patient, my only concern is that they get the count correct - and that every legal vote is counted.

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jdvorrDec. 24, 0812:29 PM

I can only hope that whoever wins this election realizes that they had nowhere near a majority. When you look at the numbers, including 3rd party, the majority of Minnesotans didn't want either of these guys. The new senator from MN better put the peoples interests first or they won't stand a chance next time. On a side note - what does it say about Norm that as an incumbent he is having such a tough time winning. He may have to change his stripes (again) if he wants to serve.

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shrankDec. 24, 08 1:01 PM

After all the votes are counted, and the inevitable litigation is underway, the result is going to remain clouded in controversy. I expect that both candidates will seek to be seated by the U.S. Senate, which will conduct an independent inquiry. The political theatre that ensues will make the recount look tame in comparison. (I can't wait!)

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ottothewiseDec. 24, 08 1:05 PM

Each litigant will have a reasonable claim. The US Senate will make Minnesota have a do-ever.

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