Franken May Appeal To Senate, Courts

Minnesota Senate candidate Al Franken's campaign says it may appeal to the U.S. Senate or the courts because it believes that up to 1,000 absentee ballots were improperly disqualified in the state's recount of votes, The Hill reports.

"Wherever the numbers stand today…that number simply cannot be relevant if it does not include all the votes that were legally cast," Franken attorney Marc Elias said, according to the newspaper. "No recount can be considered accurate or complete until all the ballots cast by lawful voters are counted."

Franken trails Republican rival Norm Coleman by 282 votes with most of the vote counted, though his campaign claims the deficit has shrunk to 73 votes.

Here's more background from The Hill:
Minnesota's Board of Canvassers ruled last Wednesday that it would not revisit the improperly disqualified ballots.

Elias said that of the 12,000 disqualified absentee ballots in the race, "as many as 1,000″ ballots were improperly excluded, and should be counted. Elias said it would appeal to the Board of Canvassers, courts, or even the U.S. Senate to ensure those ballots be counted.

The U.S. Constitution allows each congressional chamber to be the "Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members." Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) called the Board of Canvassers' decision to not count the absentee ballots "a cause for great concern," fueling speculation that the Senate would explore the legality of the Minnesota recount's results.

"If ultimately there is no remedy before the canvassing board or before the courts, then that is certainly an option," Elias said of appealing to the Senate.

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