Posted: January 1, 2009
Coleman back to MN S.Ct. over Absentee Ballots
On New Year's Eve, Norm Coleman filed an emergency motion in the Minnesota Supreme Court claiming that the agreed-to procedures for reviewing rejected absentee ballots had broken down and violated Equal Protection and Bush v. Gore. Focusing on absentee ballots rejected because the signature on the return envelope does not match the signature on the application for an absentee ballot, Coleman alleges that the procedures for reviewing these ballots differ from county to county, risking that some similarly situated ballots will be counted will others will not. The motion asks that all absentee ballots that either campaign or local officials believe to have been improperly rejected be submitted to the Secretary of State for a uniform review.
If the Franken campaign has submitted a brief to the court in response, it is not yet available. But reports in the Star-Tribune and Pioneer Press indicate that Franken will oppose this motion as an improper "do-over" of procedures largely completed already, with the Secretary of State taking the same position. It is unclear whether local officials will also object to being excluded from the process, especially as the legal premise for the review procedures undertaken pursuant to the Minnesota Supreme Court's previous order was that, prior to an election contest, review of rejected absentee ballots could only occur with the consent of local officials. (For other documents in this case, see here.)