Today's courtroom proceedings in the Minnesota election trial ended a little while ago, and looking back on the day something is becoming clear: After a week of one comedic misstep after another, the Coleman legal team seems to have finally gotten its act together and managed to score some points -- and take some interesting risks, too.
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While examining Ramsey County (St. Paul) elections director Joe Mansky this morning, Coleman attorney John Rock was able to secure an expert opinion that the most likely reason for some of the voting discrepancies that Coleman has complained about is that a number of absentee ballots were accidentally counted twice, thanks to a duplication process for damaged ballots and a failure to label them properly.
The Coleman camp has maintained that Franken has netted about 110 votes out of this process, using about two-dozen specifically picked Democratic precincts. Winning this claim would cut Franken's 225-vote lead in half -- though the Franken camp's legal filings have also shown they could play this game, too, and subtract a net 34 votes for Coleman. But obviously this is not a place the Franken camp wants to go.
The Franken camp will have the opportunity on Monday to cross-examine Mansky, at which time they will be exploring alternative explanations and the difficulties in calculating this stuff.
Now, let's take a look at the calculated risk they also took.