Franken sues for lists of voters whose absentee ballots were disqulified
The Al Franken campaign filed a lawsuit Thursday against Ramsey County seeking the names and addresses of voters whose absentee ballots were rejected, reported the Star Tribune.
The campaign hopes to force counties across the state to turn over lists of rejected absentee voters who, if later found eligible, could reverse the close results that announced Republican Sen. Norm Coleman as the winner of the U.S. Senate race. With Coleman ahead of Franken by 206 votes, a hand recount is scheduled to begin next week.
Marc Elias, lead recount attorney for Franken, said that both Ramsey and Hennepin counties had rejected the campaign's request, forcing it to take legal action.
Elias said that because Beltrami County had complied, the campaign had already learned of one woman, an 84-year-old stroke victim, whose absentee ballot was disqualified because her signature no longer matched that on her pre-stroke voter registration card.
"The state may not devise a regime where a woman, because she had a stroke, does not have the right to vote," Elias said at Franken headquarters Thursday morning.
Beltrami County Auditor Kay Mack questioned the campaign's account, saying her office had not rejected any ballots because of mismatched signatures. Mack said that an 87-year-old woman's ballot was rejected because it had no signature or mark. Mack said that the law is "very clear" about not accepting such ballots.
Franken campaing spokeman Andy Barr said Thursday night that the campaign is "still digging into the facts" regarding the report, and the issue does not affect the merits of their lawsuit.