Earlier today, I posted about the Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s report that the Coleman campaign had requested the election contest panel to throw out the election results and order a new election. This seemed like such a remarkable position that I contacted the Coleman team to find out whether they had a legal basis to make such a request. I spoke with Ben Ginsberg, Coleman’s attorney and spokesman for the legal effort involved in the recount and contest — and he says that the Strib overreached in its reporting.
“I think that was really overstated,” Ginsberg told me, “and bad reporting by the Star Tribune.” The confusion comes from a motion argued on Friday that the contest panel should be accepting absentee ballots by consistent standards — consistent to what has already been accepted. When they argued the motion, one of the contest panel judges asked what the remedy would be if the panel decided that the inclusion of the illegal votes created too much of a mess. The Coleman attorney arguing the motion, Jim Langdon, then replied that other courts in other states have ordered new elections.
Ginsberg told me, “We’re not asking for a new election, or anything like that.” The Coleman campaign insists that they remain focused on getting all of the remaining absentee ballots counted in a consistent fashion as on Election Night and in the recount. Any other remedies would have to be considered only after a failure in that effort, and Ginsberg declined to comment on what other options the Coleman camp might pursue under those circumstance.
Bottom line: the Coleman campaign did not request a new election.