Judges in the trial over a disputed U.S. Senate election threw Republican Norm Coleman a lifeline, opening the door to adding nearly 5,000 rejected absentee ballots to a race that Democrat Al Franken leads by just 225 votes.
It wasn't a total victory for Coleman, who had wanted the judges to look at about 11,000 such ballots. He also has to prove the absentee ballots were unfairly rejected, and it's likely that Franken will gain votes from the pile too.
But Coleman's attorneys cheered the ruling. "This is a victory for thousands of Minnesotans whose rejected absentee ballots will now be properly reviewed in this election," Coleman attorney Ben Ginsberg said in a prepared statement.