Franken expands list of absentee ballots sought

Democrat Al Franken is expanding the number of absentee ballots that he thinks should be counted in Minnesota's U.S. Senate race.

Franken filed a spreadsheet Tuesday listing 430 rejected absentee ballots, up from 252 cited by his attorneys in closing arguments last week.

The absentee ballots are a central issue in the race, where Franken leads Republican Norm Coleman by 225 votes after a statewide recount. Coleman has given the court a list of 1,360 rejected absentee ballots that he thinks should be counted.

In his own filing Tuesday, Coleman restated his case for the judges to take a generous view in deciding on absentees to make up for counties applying unequal standards.

Coleman also again asked the court to overturn a canvassing board decision to use the Election Day count from a Minneapolis precinct where ballots went missing, and to revoke some votes that may have been double-counted due to mishandling of damaged ballots.

The three-judge panel began deliberating Friday, and was expected to take at least several days before issuing any orders in the case.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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