MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota (CNN) – Attorneys with Norm Coleman's Senate campaign on New Year's Eve are again asking Minnesota's high court on the issue of improperly rejected absentee ballots in the state's still unresolved race between the Republican incumbent and Democrat Al Franken.
The court ruled earlier this month that both campaigns and local election officials must agree on the ballots that were improperly rejected before the canvassing board can open and count them. Ballots that are rejected improperly are typically the result of clerical error.
Local elections officials had identified approximately 1,350 ballots that may have been rejected in error. The Coleman campaign is asking the court to force Secretary of State Mark Ritchie and the state canvassing board to consider not only those but hundreds more that they say they've identified unilaterally.
Ritchie's office said that the process was drawing to a close.
"The Office of the Secretary of State has been working closely with the Coleman campaign, the Franken Campaign, and local election officials to implement the Supreme Court's order to count wrongly rejected absentee ballots by Jan. 4, 2009," they said in a statement released Wednesday.
"This process, now 90% complete, was agreed upon by both campaigns, local officials, and the Secretary of State on the afternoon of December 24, 2008. We look forward to the completion of the State Canvassing Board's work next week."
As they've done in the past, the Coleman campaign responded by accusing Ritchie's office of supporting Franken.
"There should be no reason for the Secretary of State's office to do anything other than join with us in ensuring that Minnesota voters are not being disenfranchised because of an overeager effort to close the books on some voter’s ballots," said Coleman attorney Fritz Knaak in a statement.
Franken attorney Marc Elias again said the race had reached an end, releasing a statement that said Minnesotans are ready to "recognize a winner" in the race, and that the Coleman campaign is "diverting attention into the courts and away from the counting of ballots."
A deadline of this Friday has been set for local officials and the campaigns to hand over the envelopes of their agreed-upon rejected ballots to the state canvassing board for review. It is unclear if the completion of this process could force an extension.
On Tuesday, Ritchie said he hoped the process of allocating these ballots could be completed by January 6.