The state canvassing board has soundly rejected the Coleman campaign's attempt to disenfranchise 133 voters in Minneapolis whose ballots were lost during the recount, unanimously deciding to count those votes. In addition, they urged Minnesota's 87 counties to identify, open, and count absentee ballots that were wrongly rejected.
This is a huge win for us, because our position has always been the simple principle that every lawful vote should be counted.
TPM: Franken Gets Big Win At Canvass Board
Al Franken's chances of winning the Minnesota recount may have just gone up astronomically.
The state canvassing board just voted unanimously that absentee ballots that were initially rejected because of clerical errors -- and the current estimate from the hearing is that there could be nearly 1,600 of them, based on some extrapolation -- should be counted, probably the single biggest issue that the Franken campaign has been hammering ever since this recount began, and which really seemed up in the air going into this hearing.
The board can't directly order the county officials to do the counting, only making a formal request to go back and count the votes and then submit amended totals. But many counties have already begun or finished the process of sorting the rejected absentees at the board's request, and board members did castigate any election officials who wouldn't do so, with some of them even leaving open the option of seeking a court order if necessary.
Because of all that, it seems very likely that the vast majority of these ballots will be counted before this is over -- and it could possibly seal the deal for Franken.