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Board to decide whether or not to include reject absentee ballots

The Star Tribune reported that attorneys for both Sen. Norm Coleman and Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Al Franken are preparing for whether or not rejected absentee votes will be factored into the recount.

Sen Coleman stands only 180 votes above Franken, leading the issue of how absentee ballots should be counted and when.

With an election race as close as this, a challenge of Minnesota's law governing such ballots could arise. Also, the election results may be determined by clerical errors that were missed the first time.

"Campaigns over the years have challenged anything and everything," said recount expert Timothy Downs. Downs is the principal author of "The Recount Primer" and has been working on some of the biggest recounts in U.S. history, including Gore vs. Bush in 2000. Chris Sautter, Downs' co-author, arrived in Minneapolis last weekend to work the Franken portion of the recount.

The decision will be made Wednesday on whether or not to recount these particular votes at a state Canvassing Board hearing. It is hard to say whether or not these decisions will make any more than modest changes in the final results.

If the five member board decides to include these votes, the uncertainty of the results will see a steep increase.