Having taken part in election legal challenges, I've seen some stupid challenges and some bad lawyering. But Norm Coleman's challenge in Minnesota may be taking the cake. In the current court case, Coleman's team decided to put up two witnesses who were correctly rejected under Minnesota law.
One of the voters was Douglas Thompson, who admitted under oath that his
girlfriend filled out his absentee ballot application for him, signing his name
with her own hand and purporting to be himself. His ballot was rejected because
the signature on his ballot envelope (his own) did not match the signature on
the application (his girlfriend's). The Coleman team's argument appears to be
that he is still a legal voter in Minnesota, as the signature on the ballot was
his own, even if admitted dishonesty was involved in getting the ballot.
Keep in mind: Thompson's story came up during the direct examination by
Coleman lawyer James Langdon. So the Coleman camp fully knew this information
and decided to make him into a witness.
Another one of the voters, an older man named Wesley Briest, initially
responded that he voted at the polls -- not by absentee. Then Coleman attorney
James Langdon showed him his absentee ballot envelope, reminding him that he did
not go to the polls, too. Upon cross-examination by Franken lawyer Kevin
Hamilton, Briest admitted that his wife, who served as the witness on his
ballot, did not fully complete the witness section of the absentee ballot.
If you're wondering why one would put up witnesses that admit to voting illegally for you, when you are behind, join the club. It seems insane. Who's Coleman's attorney? This guy?