State board can count missing ballots, some rejected ballots, AG says

Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson told the state Canvassing Board that they can count the 133 missing ballots from Minneapolis as well as the improperly rejected absentee ballots. Swanson's decision on the two ballot issues is a major win for Al Franken who fought for these ballots to be counted. Despite that win, it doesn't guarantee that Franken will pull ahead of Norm Coleman in the recount totals. 

The Board will count the 133 missing ballots that were counted on Election Day, but went missing before the recount. They are also strongly encouraging all counties to sort their absentee ballots for the final recount. Secretary of State Mark Ritchie said the two candidates can always take this to court if counties don't follow through. 

More details from the Star Tribune:
The board was told this morning that 49 of the state's 87 counties have examined 4,823 rejected absentee ballots and 638 of those were determined by local officials to have been wrongfully rejected. 
Deputy Secretary of State Jim Gelbmann also reported that if that trend holds -- with more than 13 percent of the rejected absentee ballots tossed improperly -- there would end up being nearly 1,600 wrongfully set aside. 
"It looks like a significant number," said state Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, the board's chairman.