Maybe there is hope for a fair election in Minnesota. In a Major blow to Al Franken’s strategy of stealing the Minnesota Senate election, the state Canvassing Board, unanimously voted this morning to deny the Franken campaign’s request that rejected absentee ballots be included in the recount. He also doesn’t get the names of the people who filled out those absentee ballots.

Al Franken’s campaign is “disappointed” that as many as 12,000 absentee ballots will not be counted in Minnesota’s hotly contested Senate race but will not appeal the decision.

On Wednesday the state Board of Canvassers unanimously rejected Franken’s (D) request to count those ballots.

In a conference call with reporters following the decision, Franken recount attorney Marc Elias said the campaign was “disappointed” in the decision. But he added: “We are not going to appeal.”

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Elias noted the board “has indicated they will consider this further next week” at another meeting and said the campaign “will no doubt have more to say” at that point.

He also expressed confidence that, in the end, “these votes will be counted.

Coleman’s campaign ridiculed Franken’s challenge as a “discovery” process for an eventual legal challenge to the results and argued the board didn’t have authority to revisit those ballots. A tne Board agreed with Coleman. Source

The board gave Franken a glimmer of hope after voting his motion down. Members agreed to seek legal advice and meet again soon to decide whether local election officials should sort through the rejected ballots. That would help determine whether any that were actually accepted didn’t get counted and whether any rejections fell outside the rules for disqualification. But the board didn’t speculate as to what would happen with those ballots.