In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Coleman Trying New Maneuver To Get Approval On Ballots

Coleman lawyer James Langdon responded that Franken was running down the reliability of Minnesota's hard-working elections officials. "It continues to be part of their effort, as we see it, to obstruct the presentation of evidence and contestant's effort to enfranchise voters," Langdon said. He even said that Franken's lawyers should be reprimanded for telling the local officials to not respond -- a mirror image of Team Franken's own calls for legal sanctions against the Coleman side.

Hamilton responded that the experience of this whole trial has shown just how vital cross-examination is. "Statements made from that witness stand that once seemed 100% certain, flipped 180 degrees in cross-examination," Hamilton, because election officials were shown contrary evidence to convince them that a ballot should or should not count.

Hamilton readily conceded Langdon's point that asking local officials to e-mail in their opinion is easier than having them travel to St. Paul -- but this proves too much, he said, demonstrating just how important actual testimony is.

So what do we take away from this? Over the course of this whole trial, Coleman has probably succeeded in getting at least a few ballots counted, pending the judges' rulings down the road -- but those cross-examinations by the Franken team demolished a huge number of others, especially yesterday.

In short, Team Coleman wants to find a new way to work through the system. And the Franken folks want to keep the proceedings under the current rules, right where they are.