01/29/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Coleman Stalls Minnesota Recount Over Absentee Ballots

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports that the recount in Minnesota is stalling over absentee ballots. Democrat Al Franken wants all 1,346 of the ballots, deemed wrongfully rejected by the state, to be counted. Republican Sen. Norm Coleman has only agreed to 136.

With a Minnesota Supreme Court-imposed deadline approaching and sniping among lawyers increasing, the U.S. Senate recount stalled today as the campaigns for Sen. Norm Coleman and Democrat Al Franken remained far apart on an agreement for improperly rejected absentee ballots.

Lawyers for the two campaigns publicly bickered this morning at a meeting held by Secretary of State Mark Ritchie's office, with the Franken campaign saying Coleman did little over the weekend to help reach an agreement over how many of the disputed ballots should be counted.

At a mid-afternoon press briefing, Coleman campaign officials downplayed the significance of the morning meeting and said they expected that regional meetings beginning Tuesday to sift through disputed absentee ballots will be "very amiable."

Coleman campaign officials insist that nothing is wrong, saying that the meetings to negotiate the ballots will be "very amiable." But Franken's team is concerned.

"There was actually almost no progress made, to our dismay, over the weekend," a recount attorney for Franken told the Star-Tribune. "At this point, the process just seems to be broken."

The Minnesota Supreme Court ruled recently that the discarded ballots should be counted, but only if both campaigns agreed the rejection was wrong.

Minnesotans are anticipating a long legal battle over the Senate seat. This weekend, Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar argued that Franken should be seated first, if the state Canvassing Board declares him the winner.