During a tedious process in St. Paul, MN this morning, 351 previously rejected ballots were counted in the race for US Senate between Minnesotans Al Franken (D) and Norm Coleman (R). The result of this latest count increases Franken’s lead to 312, legally (and exhaustively) enough to have him declared the winner of the Minnesota Senate race again. However, fellow Republican and friend of Norm Coleman’s Governor Tim Pawlenty is unlikely to sign the certification that will seat Sen.-Elect Franken at this time. It is possible, albeit unlikely, that additional ballots could be added to the count by some further order from the three-judge election panel, and Coleman’s attorneys have threatened to keep the fight alive ever since Franken was declared the winner of this race. (Republican Senator John Cornyn (TX) has, in fact, threatened “WWIII” if Franken is seated.) Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie is likely to officially certify the results if the case goes to the Minnesota Supreme Court and a decision is made there.
Gary Poser, Director of Elections and the MN Secretary of State’s office have certified the totals of today’s count as follows: Coleman 111, Franken 198, Other 42.