- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 1, 2009

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A court has ordered further review of 400 unopened absentee ballots in Minnesota’s U.S. Senate race, more than the current vote difference between Al Franken and Norm Coleman.

Three judges presiding over Republican Coleman’s lawsuit decided Tuesday that the ballots merit further consideration and possible counting. “To be clear,” they wrote, “not every absentee ballot identified in this order will ultimately be opened and counted.”

It wasn’t immediately clear which candidate stood to gain the most. Franken leads the race by 225 votes.

The three judges ordered that the ballots be examined on April 7.

The judges took a strict line on admitting new absentee ballots, as Franken’s team had sought. Coleman had argued for the inclusion of 1,300 and asked the court to presume voters did things right.

“The Court carefully reviewed each absentee ballot on a ballot-by-ballot basis to determine whether sufficient individualized evidence had been presented that the voter complied with applicable federal and state law,” the judges wrote.

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