Coleman Loses Recount, Will Challenge Election
Board certifies results for Franken hours after court rejects Republican's attempt to count more ballots
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 5, 2009 1:59 PM CST
Coleman speaks at the Republican National Convention.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Minnesota’s Canvassing Board today certified Democrat Al Franken’s victory in the US Senate race, hours after the state’s top court rejected Republican Norm Coleman’s plea to count 654 previously rejected ballots, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. The defeat leaves Coleman just one option. “Today’s ruling,” a Coleman lawyer said, “ensures that an election contest is now inevitable.”

While Coleman’s camp was threatening to contest the results, Democrats said that even if all likely challenges were resolved, Franken would still maintain his lead. The 654 absentee ballots, which were not counted as per rules agreed upon by both campaigns, will likely enter into the challenge, as will 150 ballots Coleman claims were counted twice, and 130 ballots that went missing after Election Day.