Absentee Ballot Ruling Hurts Coleman's Chances
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 13, 2009 7:45 PM CST
Former Sen. Norm Coleman, right, listens as the court hears motions during the Senate vote recount trial Thursday, Feb. 12, 2009 in St. Paul. Minn.   (AP Photo/Jim Mone, Pool)
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(Newser) – Minnesota judges handed Norm Coleman a setback today in his his bid for a Senate race recount against Al Franken, Talking Points Memo reports. In the preliminary ruling, the three-judge panel said 12 of 19 categories of rejected absentee ballots should not be tallied. "The facts do not show a wholesale disenfranchisement of absentee voters," they wrote.

Coleman wanted all but three ballot categories counted, which would add 4,800 votes, the AP reports. Franken had a slim 225-vote lead when Coleman challenged the outcome. However, it was not clear how many rejected ballots would remain uncounted if the ruling stands. The judges indicated there were not many at stake. "We may discover certain additional ballots that were legally cast under relevant law," they wrote.