After three weeks of tediously reviewing absentee ballots one by one, the Election Contest Tribunal has ordered the legal teams of former Republican Senator Norm Coleman and Democrat Al Franken to prepare arguments on 19 differnet categories of absentee ballots. The court will hear arguments this Thursday (2/12/2009) at 1:00PM CST. The parties must argue if a category of absentee ballot was “not legally cast under relevant law.” (emphasis added) The three-judge panel will then streamline the trial by removing certain categories of absentee ballots from contention.
The campaigns have filed their briefs ahead of the hearing tomorrow. You can find Coleman here and Franken here. A brief review shows that Coleman approves of 17 categories, objects to 3 while Franken is the complete inverse, accepting 2 categories while objecting to 17 categories. The numbers don’t match because the legal teams didn’t strictly use the categories provided by the court. We are sorting it out now.
You can find our initial analysis here. Will be updated again later tonight with more information.