Al Franken’s legal team has now filed their expected motion to dismiss each and every single one of Norm Coleman’s legal claims in the election contest — that is, asking that either the whole case be thrown out, or at least that some of the claims be dismissed individually — on the grounds that he failed to satisfy his burden in court before he rested his case.
The court could very well dismiss some of these claims — for example, Coleman’s recent stipulation that the allegedly missing ballots at the center of one claim did in fact exist makes that one an obvious candidate for dismissal.
It seems very unlikely, though, that all of them would be tossed at this point, before Franken has fully introduced counter-evidence in the most contentious examples.
Fundamentally, they say that Coleman has failed to introduce any evidence on a wide variety of claims in the lawsuit — that local canvassing boards made counting errors, that the state canvassing board inconsistently awarded challenged ballots to Franken, etc. They dig in further on the stuff we have sat through.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.
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.