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Downballot: Coleman dealt a blow

MINNESOTA: The big news from Friday in the never-ending recount: "Dealing a blow but not a knockout to Republican Norm Coleman's hopes, the judges in the U.S. Senate election trial on Friday tossed out most of the 19 categories of rejected absentee ballots they were considering for a second look, making it clear that they won't open and count any ballots that don't comply with state law," the Minneapolis Star Tribune wrote. "On its face, the ruling looked to be a victory for DFLer Al Franken, whose lawyers had urged the judges to turn down 17 of the 19 categories and said Friday that they had very nearly done it."

However, "Coleman's attorneys saw it differently, saying that the ruling leaves untouched about 3,500 of the 4,800 rejected absentee ballots they want the court to open and count, enough to make it possible for Coleman to overcome Franken's 225-vote certified recount lead."

And now… "Coleman's lawyers want judges in the U.S. Senate election trial to reverse their recent ruling and consider counting rejected absentee ballots similar to others that previously were tallied… In a letter to the judges Monday, Coleman's lawyers argued that the standard for counting any remaining rejected absentee ballots 'must be consistent with the standards this court has already applied to other ballots' and with standards used by counties for counting thousands of absentee ballots. Friday's ruling will 'exacerbate inconsistencies and inequities,' the letter said. Ginsberg said in a statement that it could create a 'widespread equal protection problem.'"