Coleman campaign continues call for court intervention on absentee ballots

Norm Coleman's lead attorney Fritz Knaak
Norm Coleman's lead attorney Fritz Knaak.
MPR Photo/Tim Pugmire

Republican Senator Norm Coleman's campaign is once again asking the Minnesota Supreme Court to intervene in the counting of wrongly rejected absentee ballots.

Coleman's campaign says the process of identifying those ballots is not working, so it wants the court to order that local elections officials send all rejected absentee ballots to St. Paul and let the secretary of state's office and the two campaigns can determine which should be counted.

Coleman campaign attorney Fritz Knaak says some counties are allowing more than the 1,350 or so ballots that were originally identified as wrongly rejected and some aren't. He says there needs to be a uniform standard.

"It's strictly a judgment call," Knaak said at a press conference. "Part of it is the result of confusion quite frankly that was brought about by communications from the secretary of state's office. And we just have to end the confusion and the simplest way to do that is the way that we're suggesting in our order."

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Fritz Knaak says Democrat Al Franken's campaign refuses to negotiate on the absentee ballots, and the current process is going nowhere.

"We've had no meaningful negotiations with them. There are ballots out there," Knaak said. "This would require everybody to come to the table and review those ballots and make an honest determination of those ballots on their face."

The Coleman campaign wants about 650 additionally rejected absentee ballots included in the count.

Democrat Al Franken's campaign says the Coleman side realizes it is behind and wants to pad its total by adding ballots that were correctly rejected.