MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota (CNN) - Republican Norm Coleman was dealt a major legal blow Friday evening as the three judge panel overseeing the post-election trial issued an order that significantly limits which rejected absentee ballots may be reconsidered in Minnesota's U.S. Senate race election.
Counting improperly rejected absentee ballots to prevent what they say was voter disenfranchisement has been a pivotal theme of Coleman's case.
In their order, the judges said they are "confident that...there is no systemic problem of disenfranchisement in the state's election system, including in its absentee balloting procedures."
WASHINGTON, DC and ST. PAUL, Minnesota (CNN) - Democratic Senate hopeful Al Franken will meet with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid late Wednesday afternoon “to discuss the legislative agenda, especially the economic stimulus” plan, a Reid aide tells CNN.
A Democratic source close to Franken added that the two would not discuss provisionally seating the Minnesota Senate hopeful, and that the meeting was to focus on the latest Senate business.
Franken and former Republican Sen. Norm Coleman are caught fight over the only empty seat in the U.S. Senate. Also Wednesday afternoon: a three-judge panel will hear arguments brought by Franken's attorneys that Coleman's pending legal challenge to contest the recount results should be dismissed.
MINNEAPOLIS (CNN) - The three-judge panel set to preside over former Republican Sen. Norm Coleman's post-election legal challenge has set January 26 as the start date for the trial, the court announced Friday.
The judges also set January 21 as the date they will hear arguments on Democrat Al Franken's motion to dismiss the legal contest.
Franken came out of the recount 225 votes ahead of Coleman, but Team Coleman maintains hundreds of voters were disenfranchised, and claims many votes may have been counted twice.
MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota (CNN) - Democrat Al Franken asked the state's Supreme Court Tuesday to order Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Democrat Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie to sign the certificate of election that would validate the 225-vote lead he holds over former Republican Sen. Norm Coleman.
Pawlenty and Ritchie had each denied the request, saying Minnesota law prohibits them from signing off on the state canvassing board's final count until all election legal contests have been exhausted.
Coleman has filed suit over the canvassing board's count. No start date has been set for that trial.
MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota (CNN) - Democrat Al Franken declared victory in the hotly-contested Minnesota Senate race Monday, calling the win "incredibly humbling."
Minnesota's canvassing board on Monday certified the results of the recount of Republican Sen. Norm Coleman's fight to retain his seat against Franken. The final results showed Franken with a 225-vote lead.
"I am proud to stand before you as the next senator from Minnesota," Franken told reporters Monday afternoon. "It's clear that we have a lot of important work to do ... I'm ready to go to Washington and get to work as soon as possible."
Coleman's attorney, Tony Trimble, said shortly after the ruling that the campaign plans to file suit.
Republican National Committee Chairman Mike Duncan lashed out at the ruling.
"The efforts of Al Franken, Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer to steal this election and seat Al Franken despite not having an election certificate are unprecedented," Duncan said in a statement. "I am confident that if the law is followed, Norm Coleman will be taking his rightful seat in the U.S. Senate."
(CNN) - The Minnesota State Canvassing Board certified the results of the recount of Republican Sen. Norm Coleman's fight to retain his seat against Democrat Al Franken. The results show Franken with a 225-vote lead.
MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota (CNN) - In a move that leaves a post-election legal challenge the last remaining hope for Republican Sen. Norm Coleman, Minnesota's high court has denied his campaign's request to consider about 650 additional rejected absentee ballots his attorneys claimed should have been included in the count of mistakenly rejected ballots that were tallied this weekend.
The Coleman campaign had contended there was no uniform standard for local officials and campaigns to review and tabulate these improperly rejected ballots. The court had previously ordered that only ballots local officials and both campaigns could agree were rejected in error could be counted. A consensus was met on about 950 of 1,350 originally found by local officials.
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.
ST. PAUL, Minnesota (CNN) - Democrat Al Franken maintained his slim lead of 50 votes Tuesday as Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie and the state canvassing board allocated the remainder of what was approximately 6,000 ballots that had - at one point or another - been challenged by both campaigns.
"If there are any nits to be picked, they've been picked," said board member and Minnesota State Supreme Court Chief Justice Eric Magnuson as the board adjourned.
In a statement, Franken himself said, "As it appears that we're on track to win, I want Minnesotans to know that I'm ready to get to work for them in Washington on day one."
Coleman campaign attorney Tony Trimble called Franken's double digit lead "artificial" and maintained there is still a long way to go in the counting process, specifically because a large number of improperly rejected absentee ballots have yet to be tallied.
(CNN) - The season just got a bit less jolly for Minnesota Sen. Norm Coleman: in a Christmas Eve decision, the Minnesota Supreme Court unanimously rejected a lawsuit calling for recount changes that would have erased Democratic challenger Al Franken’s narrow lead.
The Coleman campaign’s suit had asked the court to intervene because of what it says are double-counted absentee ballots that have been unfairly awarded to Al Franken. The incumbent’s lawyers asked the court to restore the original Election Night totals in roughly two dozen precincts, where recount gains had given Franken an overall edge.
The justices rejected that argument, agreeing with the Franken team that those allegations should be dealt with in legal proceedings after the recount was complete, and a winner certified by the state’s canvassing board.
Franken currently leads Coleman by 47 votes. In a ruling earlier Wednesday, the court extended the deadline for the completion of the Senate race recount to the first week in January.