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Judges hear appeal in 2008 rejected ballots case

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A panel of Minnesota judges is deciding whether a set of rejected absentee ballots from the 2008 election should ever be opened.

      The state Court of Appeals heard arguments Thursday in a case involving unopened absentee ballots deemed flawed by election administrators. KSTP-TV and other Hubbard Broadcasting Corp. affiliates sued to obtain the ballots.

      The media outlet prevailed in a Ramsey County court, but last year's ruling was appealed.

      Appeals judges questioned the station's lawyer about what could be gained by opening invalidly cast ballots. They also asked a county lawyer whether such an inspection could occur without threatening voter privacy.

      Absentee ballots were a focal point of the Senate race Democrat Al Franken ultimately won by 312 votes.

      A decision is due by mid-September.       

      (Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)