Absentee ballots to be counted will be far fewer than Coleman sought in effort to close the U.S. Senate gap.
By PAT DOYLE and KEVIN DUCHSCHERE
Norm Coleman's lawyers all but conceded defeat Tuesday and promised to appeal after a panel of three judges ordered no more than 400 new absentee ballots opened and counted, far fewer than the Republican had sought to overcome the lead held by DFLer Al Franken.
The ballots include many that Franken had identified as wrongly rejected as well as ballots that Coleman wanted opened in his quest to overcome the 225-vote lead that Franken gained after a recount in Minnesota's U.S. Senate race.
"We are very pleased," said Franken lead lawyer Marc Elias shortly after the ruling, which calls for ballots to be opened next week.
Coleman legal spokesman Ben Ginsberg acknowledged that the Republican may have lost the seven-week trial and was prepared to appeal to the Minnesota Supreme Court.