Recount trial: Coleman's 'double counting' witness tossed


Norm Coleman's legal team had plans to try and prove that some votes were counted twice. Well, that was a good effort. The lawyers forgot to provide all of the materials from the witness to Al Franken's team, so the three-judge panel tossed the witness from the trial. Yet another sloppy move in election contest.

More from the Associated Press:
The testimony of Minneapolis election judge Pamela Howell was thrown out because she had supplied materials to Coleman's legal team that weren't given to Franken's lawyers. The judges deemed that a violation of civil trial procedures.

The double-counting argument is an important element of Coleman's case. He said Franken benefited from more than 100 votes from people who had two ballots counted.

Coleman's lawyers want the court to subtract the votes from Franken's tally and reduce the 225-vote lead he had after the recount.

Howell, a Republican, is the only Coleman witness who said she was present when duplicated ballots without proper markings were fed through counting machines.

Damaged ballots are often rejected by the voting machines due to tears or smudges, which requires election officials to make an identical ballot to put into the machine. The officials are supposed to mark the duplicate ballot and place them in a seal envelope. Coleman's team is claiming that the duplicates and the originals were both counted in some cases during the recount as they were not properly matched up.