Franken Zeroes In on Senate Win

Now leads by 225; Coleman's only hope lies with the courts
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 3, 2009 9:37 PM CST
Al Franken, in a file photo from June.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – It's looking more and more likely that Al Franken will be the new senator from Minnesota. Franken extended his lead to 225 votes over Norm Coleman tonight after election officials finished counting nearly 1,000 previously rejected ballots, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. The recount is now done—unless the state's Supreme Court rules it isn't.

Coleman has asked the court to allow hundreds more absentee ballots to be counted, and there's no word on when that ruling might come down. In the meantime, election officials plan to meet Monday or Tuesday to certify the final count—which would make Franken the winner barring court intervention. Even if Franken gets the nod, however, expect Coleman to file a court challenge to the results.