According to news reports, the Minnesota Election Contest Judicial Panel finished their review of votes, counting just under 400 absentee ballots that were previous excluded. These votes were included as the result of Former Senator Norm Coleman’s legal challenge to the election. With Senator Al Franken’s lead over Former Senator Norm Coleman rising from 225 at the start of the process to 312 as of a few moments ago, it would appear that Coleman’s challenge has backfired.
The judicial panel still has a few more issues to rule on.
One of the issues os the ca 130 votes that were lost in a Minneapolis precinct. It was previously decided that the machine count, rather than the hand recount, stand in for this set of votes. Even if the votes were thrown out, it would only change the current count by a small amount.
Another outstanding issue is the assertion by the Coleman challenge that some votes were double counted. Again, if this ruling went in favor of Coleman, it would not change the total count too much.
It is estimated that if these two rulings both went Coleman’s way, he would gain fewer than 100 votes.
Coleman is planning to appeal the outcome of the 3 judge panel’s decision in the Minnesota Supreme Court. In that appeal he is expected to argue that many more absentee votes be counted. Even if that were to occur, it is not expected to change the outcome of the election, but it will delay the seating of Senator Franken in Washington. It is now widely accepted that the Coleman challenge and subsequent appeals are nothing more than a bald faced attempt to delay the seating of Democratic Senator Franken, as an overall Republican effort to block the Obama Agenda.
Sources: NPR, WCCO