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Senate trial looks at Washington County

ST. PAUL - A Washington County official testified in the U.S. Senate election trial that his county's absentee ballot review varied slightly from another county's review.

Kevin Corbid, who oversees elections in his county, said this morning in court that he and another Washington County official did not consider whether an absentee ballot mistake was committed by the voter or an election administrator.

"Our position was that regardless of who made the error, if the correct material wasn't provided or the certificate (was not) filled out completely, that was a proper rejection," Corbid said under questioning by Joe Friedberg, an attorney for Norm Coleman.

Corbid agreed with Friedberg's suggestion that Washington County's policy was different than Ramsey County's. A Ramsey County official testified recently that absentee ballots rejected because of administrative error should be counted.

Coleman's lawsuit challenging Al Franken's 225-vote victory claims counties applied different standards when considering absentee ballots, and thus all 11,000 rejected absentee ballots should be reviewed in the trial. Today is the trial's seventh day.

Corbid said election officials in his county used information available to them at the time to decide whether to accept or reject absentee ballots.