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Franken-Coleman decision analysis

[For more of the latest legal analysis, see the Minnesota Lawyer blog.] Norm Coleman argued that his due process rights were violated because strict, rather than only substantial, compliance was required with the statutory compliance of absentee voting. The court rejected this assertion, finding that under its existing caselaw, strict compliance was clearly the applicable standard. (In any event, the court found that there was no evidence that voters had relied upon a substantial compliance standard in casting their ballots and would have voted any differently. In fact, the court pointed out, Coleman’s counsel had conceded as much in oral argument.)

The court also rejected Coleman’s equal protection claim, finding that the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Bush v. Gore was not applicable to this case. Moreover, the Minnesota high court found that local election officials are entitled to some discretion in implementing procedures to ensure compliance with statutory standards. Different counties have different resources, personnel and technology

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