Coleman takes 'duplicate ballot' issue to court

Coleman takes 'duplicate ballot' issue to court

The state Canvassing Board decided today to count 'duplicate' ballots in the Minnesota Senate recount.

Shortly after the decision, Norm Coleman's campaign filed a suit with the Minnesota Supreme Court to stop the board from including what they are calling "double-counted votes" in its recount totals, the Pioneer Press says

The duplicate ballot issue is complicated and Coleman is definitely putting his own spin on it as he once again tries to maneuver his way through an increasingly sticky recount week. Al Franken's campaign denies that any vote was counted twice.

The duplicate vote issue explained by the PiPress:

When local officials receive a damaged ballot that cannot be read by voting machines on Election Day, they are authorized to duplicate the ballot and feed that through the machine. 
The officials are supposed to mark both the duplicate and the original and keep them together. But the Coleman campaign said that didn't happen in at least 150 cases, resulting in counting of both the duplicates and the original in the recount.

Read the suit here

Here is the Franken camp response, which calls out Coleman's campaign for suddenly changing their mind on duplicate ballots: 

Communications Director Andy Barr: 

"This is just the latest desperate act by a campaign panicked because it has suddenly realized that it is going to lose the election. The two campaigns and the Secretary of State agreed on a deal at the insistence of the Coleman campaign. The Coleman campaign then used that deal to prevent us from making challenges in counties across the state. And now that they realize they are going to lose, they are once again running to court to try to change the rules and disenfranchise hundreds of voters based on a theory they invented and cannot support with any real evidence." 

FLASHBACK: Email from Coleman attorney Tony Trimble (11/19): 

"We believe that duplicate ballots should be counted if no corresponding original can be found, as this was a ballot cast on election night. A challenge to a duplicate ballot for which no original can be found is a frivolous challenge, because it does not relate to voter intent. Any challenge to a duplicate ballot should be made within an election contest and is not within the limited jurisdiction of an administrative recount. We will request the Minnesota State Canvassing Board to reject any challenges to duplicate ballots as groundless and frivolous (if the same are brought to the Canvassing Board)."

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