Sen. Norm Coleman (R) received a qualified victory from the three-judge panel hearing his challenge to Democrat Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenThe job no GOP senator wants: 'I'd rather have a root canal' Take Trump literally and seriously in Minnesota Ninth woman accuses Al Franken of inappropriate contact MORE's 225-vote lead in the Minnesota Senate race, granting him access to thousands of absentee ballots to help press his case that they were inconsistently counted.

The panel gave the Coleman campaign permission to enter nearly 4,800 disqualified absentee ballots into evidence, as proof of inconsistent standards applied by local elections officials across Minnesota, leading to Franken's slim lead. The pool of ballots was well short of the roughly 11,000 ballots Coleman had sought to enter into evidence.

The number allowed by the panel mirrors the number of ballots the Coleman campaign, by its own admission, expected would be valid among the 11,000 votes they had sought to include.

The Franken campaign had sought to allow a smaller, 654-vote pool of votes allowed into evidence.

"We had what was really what I think will go down as a major point," Coleman attorney Ben Ginsberg said in a late Tuesday afternoon conference call. "It is a real victory for those in Minnesota whose votes have not yet been counted."

Both campaigns said Tuesday they had no immediate sense of whether or not the ballots were coming from counties and precincts favoring Coleman or Franken.