Coleman-Franken trial: Both sides submit ‘findings of fact’ to the judges, confirming their closing arguments

In what should be the final submissions of the two-month-long election contest trial, lawyers for Norm Coleman and Al Franken today released voluminous documents detailing what they believe they proved in court.

The documents were filed to aid the three-judge panel in reaching its final ruling, which would determine whether Coleman or Franken received the most legally cast votes.

There was really no news in the filings, but detailed and specific “findings” that each side believes it proved. The documents serve as supporting material for what each side’s lawyers spoke about in their closing arguments Friday.

Franken’s lawyers reiterated how many ballots they believed they proved were legal – 252 – and said that about another 150 should be considered.

They argued that Coleman’s side had proved that only a few ballots should be opened. And they attached spreadsheets detailing what they consider the failings in Coleman’s proving of legally cast ballots.

In Coleman’s 77-page “proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law,” his lawyers tell the judges about inconsistencies in ballot evaluation from county to county, urge them not to count the missing 132 ballots from Minneapolis and detail their view that they proved the secretary of state’s voter registration system wasn’t current enough to show which voters were eligible to vote on Election Day.

Like we say, nothing new here, but the destruction of many trees to print out oodles of appendices and spreadsheets.

Both sides are eagerly awaiting word from Judges Elizabeth Hayden, Kurt Marben and Denise Reilly about how many ballots they plan to order the secretary of state’s office to open.

Once that order comes down, it will be another four or five days before ballots would be counted. A final ruling from the judges would likely come soon after the re-recount is completed.

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