April 20, 2009

Coleman Appeals

Here is the notice of appeal.

Here are the issues Coleman plans to raise on appeal:

    I. Whether the trial court erred in excluding evidence regarding (a) the disparate application by election officials of the statutory standard governing absentee ballots and (b) the presence of illegal votes in the certified totals from election night?

    II. Whether the trial court violated the constitutional protections of equal protection and due process when it declared that Respondent received the highest number of "legally cast votes" where the record demonstrated that, by the trial court's rulings, the number of "illegally cast" ballots counted on election day and during the recount greatly exceeded the margin between the candidates and it cannot be determined for which candidate those illegal votes were counted?

    III. Whether the trial court violated the constitutional protections of equal protection and due process when it imposed a strict compliance standard for the rejected absentee ballots rather than applying a substantial compliance standard to reflect those actually applied by election officials (as well as this Court's longstanding policy favoring enfranchisement)?

    IV. Whether the trial court erred in declining to order inspections of precincts in which double-counting was alleged to have occurred?

    V. Whether the trial court erred in ruling that missing ballots from Minneapolis Precinct 3-1 were properly included in the tally of legally cast votes?


I'm especially interested in this third argument on appeal, because it seems to call into question the Minnesota rule treating absentee balloting as a privilege and not a right, and therefore not applying Minnesota's general rule requiring liberal construction of rules favoring voters. (But on this point it appears that the three-judge court followed, rather than deviated from, the state Supreme Court's treatment of this issue.)

Posted by Rick Hasen at April 20, 2009 03:22 PM