March 31st, 2009
05:45 PM ET
9 years ago

Minnesota court gives Franken good news

Franken holds a 225 vote lead over Coleman.

Franken holds a 225 vote lead over Coleman.

(CNN) - A Minnesota court Tuesday ordered the review of 400 absentee ballots in that state's still-disputed Senate race, a number that falls far short of the 1,300 absentee ballots Republican Norm Coleman says need to be counted.

The three-judge panel's ruling is a break for Democrat Al Franken, who currently holds a 225 vote lead over Coleman. Given the former SNL comedian's current lead, Coleman needs to capture nearly 80 percent of the 400 absentee ballots to erase his vote deficit.

The panel and officials from the Secretary of State's office will convene Tuesday, April 7 and open the ballots in open court.

Franken lawyer Marc Elias said he was "very pleased" with the order and felt fairly confident they would still remain on top.

Coleman attorney Ben Ginsberg said he was "disappointed" with the order and said the court was "wrong." He added they are more than likely to lose at the trial level and will appeal.

"It is pretty much of a long shot with that few ballots being put in play," Ginsberg said of their chances given the pool of only 400 votes that will be considered.

"The math is going to be very difficult for former Sen. Coleman and his legal team at this point."

Filed under: Al Franken • Norm Coleman