Coleman’s Past Opposition To Counting Absentees Highlighted In Court

Story By Noah Kunin –Coleman Election Contest Attorney, Joe Friedburg, continued his examination of Deputy Secretary of State Jim Gelbmann in Day 3 of the Minnesota Election Contest Trial for US Senate.

The most notable moment came early in the day when Friedburg asked Gelbmann if the ability of either candidate to veto the opening of an improperly rejected absentee ballot disenfranchised voters. Gelbmann replied: “Yes.”  That veto power was agreed to by both campaigns during the recount process.  This power is invested to the campaigns by the Minnesota Supreme Court.  The thrust of Coleman’s argument is that this veto power resulted in unequal treatment of ballots across the state.

Franken Election Contest Attorney Marc Elias argued that Coleman’s about face – first agreeing to then opposing the rules – violates the legal doctrine of invited error.   In layman’s terms, you can’t argue against an argument you made earlier. 

Furthermore, Team Franken contends that Coleman should be limited to the universe of 654 ballots Coleman lawyers named at the end of the recount because they did not make detailed specifications in their notice of election contest.

Coleman Election Contest Consultant Ben Ginsberg, in a lunchtime press conference, argued that the election contest is de nuovo - that the trial is operating from a blank state.  As a result, previous arguments made by Team Coleman are irrelevant to the trial’s proceedings and their previous arguments should not be entered as evidence.

The three judge tribunal has yet to issue orders on several motions related to these issues.  Their orders will greatly clarify the future course of the trial.  Orders are expected this week as the trial continues.

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