This report, hot off the press, signifies a victory for Norm Coleman in the election contest with Al Franken: the court hearing the contest has ruled that “all absentee ballots that complied with state law should be counted, along with those where errors occurred through no fault of the voter.” Franken has been trying to prevent a number of ballots that complied with state law from being counted.
It appears that there are around 4,800 rejected absentee ballots that fall into this category. The court imposed one limitation on its ruling, i.e., that the ballots in question must have been disclosed by the Coleman campaign to the Franken campaign by January 22.
It isn’t clear to me whether the ruling is that the 4,800 ballots in question actually are valid and will be counted, or that they will be reviewed to see whether they are valid and should be counted. Either way, it appears to be a big win for Coleman; one that makes it appear possible that he might make up Franken’s 220-vote lead.
UPDATE: More here.
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