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Norm Coleman's campaign filed an injunction Saturday morning 7:20am to try to keep 32 absentee ballots from Hennepin County from being counted

Just got word that the court ruled in favor of the votes being counted. There will be a press conference at Al Franken's campaign office at 1:30pm.

I'll add more information as I get it.

UPDATE: Help count every vote - contribute to Al's recount fund: https://secure.alfranken.com/...

PRESS RELEASE FROM FRANKEN CAMPAIGN:

Colleen Murray
colleen@alfranken.com
952-818-8780 / 571-236-1203
Jess McIntosh
jess@alfranken.com
952-548-6052 / 651-357-5115  
For Immediate Release

COLEMAN CAMPAIGN TRIES TO DISENFRANCHISE MINNESOTANS
Another Coleman Lawsuit Makes It Clear: Norm Coleman Doesn't Want All The Votes To Be Counted
__________________________________________________________

Saint Paul [11/08/08] - In a shameful effort to deprive Minnesota voters of their civil rights, the Coleman campaign today went to court in an attempt to block 32 absentee ballots from being counted.

Communications Director Andy Barr:

"Our position is simple: Count every vote fairly. Ever since the routine process of canvassing to ensure that every vote is counted began, the Coleman campaign has been attempting to obstruct it. And, in typical fashion, they have now gone to court to shut down the count. This stealth attack on an early Saturday morning is a disgusting attempt to disenfranchise voters who did nothing wrong, and we will fight hard on behalf of Minnesotans who deserve to have their voices heard."

UPDATE:

Just got information from the Franken presser -- apparently the lawsuit filed this morning, ostensibly about 32 votes, actually calls for stopping the counting of ALL ballots, statewide, that were not counted or sealed on election night. They provided no evidence about the 32 votes - where they came from or why they would cause Coleman harm. Franken attorney David Lillehaug said, "Norm Coleman is trying to litigate his way into office."

UPDATE 2:
AP Story:

Coleman loses attempt to block 32 votes from count

The Associated Press - Saturday, November 08, 2008
St. Paul, Minn.

Sen. Norm Coleman failed Saturday in an attempt to block 32 absentee ballots from Hennepin County from being counted in his close race with Democrat Al Franken.

Coleman's campaign asked Ramsey County Chief Judge Kathleen Gearin on Friday to issue a temporary restraining order regarding the counting of ballots it said had not been counted on Election Day or been kept in sealed ballot boxes. Gearin said Saturday she denied the request for lack of jurisdiction.

The Republican senator's campaign issued a statement saying it made the request amid "increasing questions about unexplained and improbable shifts in vote counts."

"New ballots have suddenly appeared from a heavily Democratic precinct," it said. "These ballots have been unsecure since the election, yet the Franken Campaign is demanding they be stuffed into the ballot box, attempting to change a vote count that was already finished."

The Minnesota secretary of state's office's most recent tally had Coleman 221 votes ahead of Franken on Saturday.

Franken's campaign responded that Coleman's request was nothing more than an attempt to disenfranchise voters.

"Our position is simple: Count every vote fairly," communications director Andy Barr said in a statement.

The request filed by Coleman's campaign said Minneapolis elections director Cynthia Reichert called Coleman's campaign office at 7:45 p.m. Friday and reported that the ballots had been found and would be counted the next morning. The document did not say where the ballots had been found.

Update 3:

Text of the lawsuit shows that the 32 ballots were an excuse to try to stop the entire recount:

 WHEREFORE, for the reasons stated above, Plaintiffs respectfully request that this Court enter an emergency temporary injunction preventing Defendant, as well as any other election officials in the State of Minnesota, or other persons, from unsealing, opening and/or tallying any absentee ballot envelopes or any other ballot, including but not limited to spoiled and rejected ballots, that were not included in ballot boxes sealed on Election Day or included in the ballots tallied and sealed at the precinct polling locations.

Originally posted to Ozium on Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 10:13 AM PST.

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