Coleman: "Reports of Al Franken's victory are greatly exaggerated" - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Coleman: “Reports of Al Franken’s victory are greatly exaggerated”

A buoyant Norm Coleman just held a conference call with lawyer Ben Ginsberg, celebrating yesterday’s decision by a three-judge panel in Minnesota that will allow 4,800 rejected absentee ballots to be reconsidered in the election contest.

Coleman said he was optimistic that he would win once all valid votes are counted, because the initially rejected absentee ballots that were included in the current count skewed Democratic.

“The rest of this universe is a universe that comes from areas that are heavily Republican because the other ones are already in,” Coleman said, while cautioning that one can never know how any given individual would have voted.

Furthermore, Coleman said in reality, he only has to make up a gap of less than 150 votes rather than the frequently-cited 225 figure, because he expects that 80 to 100 Franken votes will be washed away once the court fixes the double-counting of ballots that took place.

“Reports of Al Franken’s victory are greatly exaggerated,” Coleman said, repeatedly emphasizing that the former comedian’s lead was “artificial.”

Ginsberg, who also played a central role in the Florida 2000 recount, said that yesterday’s ruling was key in “reshaping” the contest, because Franken wanted to limit the universe of reconsidered absentee ballots to 650.

“Basically, this is what we asked for,” he said.

At issue was the lack of uniform standards in determining whether some absentee ballots were improperly rejected on Election Day. For instance, Minnesota law requires a signature on the envelope of every absentee ballot, but in some cases voters signed in a different place than the box designated for their signatures. Due to a legal gray area, some counties counted those ballots and others rejected them.

“Either way wasn’t necessarily right or wrong, just different,” Ginsberg said. This ruling, he said, would ensure that all ballots get counted based on one standard.

As for the separate issue of the duplicate ballots, Ginsberg expects the court to rule on that matter later in the process, because right now there will be a county-by-county review of the 4,800 rejected absentee ballots.

Asked whether he expected Harry Reid to refuse to seat him, Coleman was dismissive. No matter what statements Reid makes publicly, he said, the seating of Ronald Burris shows that ultimately he’d have to relent.

“Harry Reid isn’t going to be in a position to block me from being a U.S. Senator if I am certified as the winner,” he said.

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