Campaigns reduce number of challenged ballots

Both candidates for Minnesota's U.S. Senate seat have promised to reduce the number of challenged they plan to present to the Canvassing Board Tuesday.

Republican Sen. Norm Coleman's campaign plans to present the board with fewer than 1,000 challenged ballots on Tuesday.

Democrat Al Franken's campaign announced it has reduced the number of ballots it plans to challenge to fewer than 500.

The Coleman campaign says it is still concerned about the lack of a clear uniform standard for handling absentee ballots.

But campaign spokesman Mark Drake said in the interest of moving the process forward, they decided to withdraw some challenges.

"Certainly we want to make sure that this process that takes place here with the canvassing board is smooth and functions well for all sides, and Minnesotans have faith in the system, and we did this to make sure that we were not unnecessarily burdening the board with challenges that are not worthy of the board's time," Drake said.

Franken spokesman Andy Barr said their campaign is trying to make it easier for the board to determine the winner in the recount.

"The members of the state canvassing board made it very clear that they were concerned about being able to do the job of adjudicating these challenges ballot by ballot in a timely and efficient fashion. Certainly we have taken that to heart. When the state Canvassing Board meets on Tuesday they will have fewer than 500 franken ballot challenges to consider. We will be withdrawing the rest of those between now and then," Barr said.

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