Minnesota: Coleman in Courtroom as Recount Trial Begins

Posted January 26, 2009 at 6:12pm

The Minnesota Senate recount trial began Monday when attorneys for Republican Norm Coleman and Democrat Al Franken made their opening statements.

Franken currently leads Coleman by 225 votes in the recount, but Coleman is contesting the final results in a lawsuit. According to Coleman’s campaign, the one-term Republican Senator attended Monday’s trial.

“We have a strong case,” Coleman said in a statement. “More importantly, Minnesotans have a strong case to be made that we should decide this election, not politicians in Washington, D.C., or clever legal motions intended to deprive us of our legal rights to ensure the most accurate and valid count to ensure the most credible results of this election.”

In the trial, Coleman’s campaign will attempt to prove that some votes were “double counted,” missing ballots were tallied, and improperly rejected absentee ballots were not consistently added to the recount totals, among other issues. The campaign argues that these matters gave Franken a lead after the recount, even though Coleman was ahead by a couple of hundred votes on election night.

The trial is expected to last at least a couple of weeks, during which time Minnesota will have only one Senator because neither man has been seated yet.