The Counting Begins

Before the court even begins counting tomorrow morning, thirteen ballots will be eliminated from their original request of 400. The Star Tribune is reporting, by way of the Deputy Secretary of State, that 13 of the 400 ballots have already been counted and were erroneously requested due to clerical errors. The relevant portion of the Star Tribune article is excerpted below:

Deputy Secretary of State Jim Gelbmann said Monday that 13 of the 400 ballots on the judges' list had already been counted, on Election Day or during the recount, putting the number of ballots that might be added at 387.

Once opened, outside envelopes -- which contain voters' names -- will be separated from the security envelopes that contain the original ballots, said Secretary of State Mark Ritchie. Poser will then sort the ballots into three piles -- Franken, Coleman and other.

Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune

This reduction of the potential pool of additional, countable absentee ballots will likely facilitate an MN Supreme Court appeal by Norm Coleman as the number of physical ballots quickly approaches his current deficit. Once the ballots are counted, hopefully by the end of tomorrow, the court still has other issues to confront before they present their ruling. Once the ECC determines the victor, the loser will have 10 days to appeal to the MN Supreme Court.

In other related news, the Franken campaigns has asked the court to allow another attorney, Lisa Marshall Manheim from Seattle, WA to practice before the court:

Contestee Al Franken hereby moves for permission for Lisa Marshall Manheim, attorney with Perkins Coie LLP, to practice before this Court pro hac vice in this matter. This Motion is based upon Rule 5 of the General Rules of Practice for the District Courts, the accompanying affidavit of Lisa Marshal Manheim, and the files and proceedings herein.

Dated: April 6, 2009

Source: Contestees Motion for Admission Pro Hac Vice of Lisa Marshall Manheim via

I really have no idea why the Franken campaign is seeking further representation but a quick Google search revealed a little background information about Mrs. Manheim. She apparently represented the Democratic candidate, Chris Gregoire, during the 2004 Washington Gubernatorial Recount; Gregoire eventually won. Perhaps the Franken campaign is already gearing up for the appeals process; although a separate request would have to be filled with the MN Supreme Court, the relevant court during a subsequent appeal.

Other than those two bits of information, I have nothing else to report until the counting begins tomorrow at 9:30 AM CT. Check for a live stream tomorrow morning. Hopefully the court releases some hard numbers tomorrow, but if they don't I'm sure a few shoddy numbers will trickle in from the Minnesota Media; in any case I'll try to recap the count tomorrow night, assuming relevant data exists.

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