Norm Coleman and Al Franken are fighting their own battles in court to win the open U.S. Senate seat. Now the race is further complicated as 64 absentee voters are suing to have their ballots counted. Their ballots were officially rejected during the recount.
All 64 of the voters supported Franken for U.S. Senate and Franken's campaign is supporting their effort, according to the Star Tribune.
The case is in the Minnesota Supreme Court along with Coleman's election contest and Franken's request for an election certificate.
The voters' lawsuit alleges cases where county officials acknowledge the votes were improperly rejected and also cases where voters sent affidavits to counties saying their vote was legally cast. Ritchie and various counties are named as defendants. The suit asks that the ballots be opened and counted and that the Senate or the three-judge panel presiding over Coleman's contest case decide what "might be deemed appropriate."The Strib spoke to several of the voters suing who explained how they voted.
Harold Conlow said he and his wife, Judith, voted absentee because they spend winters in Florida. Conlow said his ballot was counted but his wife's, which is part of the lawsuit, was not because it was "delivered to the wrong place."
"We filled them out at the same time, sent them to the same place," the Sturgeon Lake man said.
Robert Girtz, a Little Falls voter who is part of the lawsuit, said he too was mystified why his absentee ballot was rejected. Girtz said he was contacted by the county auditor, who told him of the rejection. "They mentioned that it was mistakenly rejected -- whatever that means. No idea," he said. "It's interesting. [It's my] 15 minutes of fame."There is no indication how long this suit could take to be resolved or if the Secretary of State and Governor have to wait for this lawsuit to be complete before signing an election certificate. No word from rejected Coleman voters just yet, but we will keep you updated.