Coleman goes to court before recount

Nov. 8, 2008 at 6:53 PM
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ST. PAUL, Minn., Nov. 8 (UPI) -- Republican Sen. Norm Coleman, facing a recount in his bid for re-election, failed Saturday to block 32 absentee ballots, the staff for opponent Al Franken said.

The Democratic candidate's campaign provided the St. Paul Pioneer Press with a copy of documents showing Coleman went to court in Ramsey County, seeking an injunction to keep election officials from opening and counting the absentee ballots in Minneapolis, which is in neighboring Hennepin County.

Citing Minnesota voting rules, the Coleman camp contended the votes shouldn't be counted because they were not opened on Election Day, the Pioneer Press reported.

"The integrity of these ballot(s) is in serious doubt," the Coleman campaign's request said.

However, a judge rejected the injunction request at a Saturday morning hearing, the Pioneer Press said, adding it was unable to reach Coleman campaign officials for comment.

Coleman had a 221-vote edge over Franken as of Friday, triggering an automatic recount under state law. The recount won't start until Nov. 19 after a state canvassing board certifies the results, probably around mid-December.

The Coleman campaign filed a request Friday under the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act to obtain electronic voting machine reports and hand tally sheets from each of Minnesota's 87 counties. The Coleman campaign staff called fluctuating local vote totals as suspicious, saying they have favored Franken.

Franken campaign officials Saturday accused Coleman officials of conducting a "stealth attack" in a "disgusting attempt to disenfranchise voters who did nothing wrong."

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