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Republican Norm Coleman, center, listens along with attorney Tony Trimble during Tuesday questioning of Carver County election official Kendra Sue Olson in the Senate election trial. Pool photo by Chris Polydoroff, St. Paul Pioneer Press.

Court will not revisit ballot ruling

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By Scott Wente

St. Paul Capitol Bureau

ST. PAUL - Judges presiding over the U.S. Senate election trial will not reconsider a decision to block some rejected absentee ballots from being reviewed for possible counting.

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The three-judge panel on Wednesday morning rejected Norm Coleman's request that the court reverse its ruling last week blocking at least 10 categories of ballots from being included in the trial. The court had said those ballots cannot be counted because they were not legally cast.

Coleman, a Republican who is challenging the election results showing Democrat Al Franken won by 225 votes, argued that the judges should reconsider their decision because similar ballots already have been included in the election tally.

"If the court maintains the standards set forth in that ruling, it will serve only to further exacerbate inconsistencies and inequities in the process and the already-existing equal protection problem," Coleman argued.

Franken's campaign disagreed with Coleman's request.

The start of the trial's 18th day was delayed a bit this morning as the judges met with campaign attorneys behind closed doors to discuss scheduling issues.

A Scott County election official returned to the witness stand when the trial got under way.

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