Early this afternoon, the Minnesota Supreme Court made its first response to Norm Coleman’s request that it revise the last stage of the recount procedure. The court order gives little clue about how the Supremes will treat Coleman’s request. The justices asked only that the Al Franken campaign, and several counties that were mentioned in Coleman’s Wednesday petition, file with the court a description of how they dealt with Coleman’s efforts to have 654 additional absentee ballots reconsidered.
They asked for those submission by 9 a.m. tomorrow. Saturday is also a day when the secretary of state’s office will be opening and counting absentee ballots that the counties decided (with the agreement of both campaigns) had been wrongfully rejected on Election Night.
The Supreme Court instructed the parties to await notice of whether the court might want to hold a hearing and hear arguments on Coleman’s petition. Coleman, who had no luck getting additional absentee ballots considered on the last round, had asked that potentially valid absentee ballots be sent to the secretary of state’s office, so their potential acceptance for counting can be handled in a uniform manner.
Today’s court order doesn’t change the state of play much, but raises the possibility that the court will hold a hearing and make a ruling on Coleman’s petition.
Secretary of State Mark Ritchie put out a statement indicating he would file the requested information with the court, and reaffirming that his office is on track to complete the counting of wrongly rejected absentee ballots on Sunday.
If the court doesn’t order a change in the process, it is possible that the state Canvassing Board will complete the recount on Monday.