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Coleman proposes conducting recount trial in stages

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Fritz Knaak
Fritz Knaak is lead attorney for Norm Coleman's U.S. Senate campaign.
MPR Photo/Tim Pugmire

Republican Norm Coleman has proposed a trial schedule that could take Minnesota's U.S. Senate race well into February. 

Attorneys for the Coleman campaign say depositions and document gathering is underway in the legal contest of the U.S. Senate recount.  

Coleman's campaign is requesting that the trial start on Feb. 9, and occur in stages, with the court taking up the issue of wrongly rejected absentee ballots first.  

Both Coleman's campaign and Franken's campaign have argued that hundreds of absentee ballots were not included in the recount.  

Coleman attorney Fritz Knaak said the other stages would include ballots that were missing in Minneapolis, and allegations of double-counted votes.  They want the final stage to start on Feb. 23.  

"It's possible the court will accelerate it even more, but it's our view that it's a very aggressive schedule given the volume of evidence," said Knaak. 

A spokesman for Franken's campaign said it will submit a shorter timeline to the court.  The final decision on the schedule will be made by the three-judge panel which has been appointed to hear the case.  

Meantime, a group of Republican voters say they will join Coleman's lawsuit alleging that ballots were counted twice during the recount.  

Scott Walker of St. Paul is one of several voters who say they are concerned about the alleged double counting.

"I am furious about that. I insist, and the point of this lawsuit, is to engage other Minnesotans to join us in this lawsuit to ensure that their vote was counted and was not negated by anybody else," said Walker.

The attorney representing the group of voters said he hoped to file the lawsuit in a few days.