In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Franken Moves To Throw Out Coleman's Lawsuit -- Or At Least Some Of It

Rejected Absentees
Team Franken goes over how Coleman initially had the opportunity to offer evidence that 4,800 selected absentee ballots had been wrongly-rejected by the local officials, later knocked down to about 3,600 after the court's ruling for strict standards. Then, Team Franken notes, Coleman failed to actually introduce any evidence on 1,473 of them, and only partial evidence on many more.

After boiling it down even further, we get this bottom line: Team Franken says Coleman has only introduced nine ballots with full evidence of voter and witness registration, and a similarly-tiny amount of other ballots which might have been witnessed by a proper official. Franken isn't conceding these were legal, either -- but the demand is that all others be thrown out.

Duplicate Ballots
The Franken filing says that Coleman hasn't introduced sufficient evidence -- that is, specific events at the precinct level -- on possible double-counting due to human errors in the process of duplicating damaged absentee ballots. Instead, we've had to rely on Coleman's mathematical claims. Furthermore, they invoke the legal doctrine of estoppel: Coleman agreed beforehand to the procedures used for sorting through duplicates, and thus he can't argue against them.

Franken's attorneys also make sure to allude to the multiple problems with Pamela Howell, the sole precinct worker who was brought in to testify about the problem: "The one exception comes in the form of indefinite hearsay from a witness whose credibility has been called into question."

Accepted Absentee Ballots, And Throwing Out The Election
The filing also makes sure to address Coleman's claim that absentee ballots were counted on Election Night that should have been rejected, which is being used to either invalidate the entire election or perhaps have it just awarded to him outright.

They point out that Coleman hasn't offered the required evidence of specific absentee envelopes to be retroactively declared illegal, but is instead asking the court at the last minute to start looking through all 286,000 envelopes out there. Furthermore, they say the whole venture of un-counting would be illegal -- that no Minnesota court has ever assumed that allegedly-illegal votes can be allocated one way or the other.

They say that Coleman is asking for help in the wrong venue -- that if Coleman now believes this court cannot determine a winner, "their only recourse is the United States Senate."

And make no mistake. After this trial is over, and after the appeals have been handled, the U.S. Senate is where this dispute will end up.