Norm Coleman held a press conference this afternoon to address the end of the recount and to announce that his campaign filed an election contest. The state Canvassing Board certified a 225-vote lead for Al Franken yesterday.
Coleman's contest will address the major ballot issues the campaign has brought up since the recount started. This contest will delay any official certification by Minnesota officials to actually seat Franken as senator.
The main aspects of the election contest will be alleged double-counted ballots, situations where more votes were counted than cast in some precincts and more rejected absentee ballots they hope to have counted. Coleman's attorneys said they believe they will win these arguments in state court.
During the press conference, Coleman stayed on his message that every vote in Minnesota should be counted, and counted only once. This ironically sounds a lot like Franken's original message when he was in Coleman's position after Election Day. It's a good message to use and helps Coleman's election contest sound more legitimate and less like a sore-loser plan.
Coleman said the latest ballot count is much closer than he would have thought and much different outcome than he was expecting. He said he is filing the contest so he, along with all Minnesotans, can be confident in the process and the eventual winner. He said he still believes he will win the race and that he won on election night.
When asked about Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's comment about Coleman "never ever" serving again in the Senate, Coleman responded with a snappy comment that drew some crowd cheers: "This race will be determined by Minnesota voters, not Harry Reid."
When asked about his original comment shortly after Election Day where he said he would step down if he were in Franken's position. During the press conference, Coleman said he had come out to say that comment was a mistake days later and they did not yet know of some of these inconsistences discovered during the recount.
As this story develops today, we will keep Blotter updated.