Franken up 225 votes, Canvassing Board expected to certify vote count today
Coleman, who led Franken on election night, hasn't ruled out a lawsuit challenging the results, claiming there were irregularities that gave Franken an unfair advantage.
The Coleman campaign also has a petition pending before the state Supreme Court to include 650 ballots that it says were improperly rejected but not forwarded by local officials to St. Paul for counting. The court has not said when it would rule in that case.
When Coleman was ahead shortly after Election Day, he said he would concede if he were behind. Will he follow his own advice? Doubtful.
If the court refuses to make the additional ballots available before a Canvassing Board decision, Coleman can file the lawsuit within days to seek to have them admitted.
Knaak said the suit also could claim that as many as 150 ballots in DFL areas were counted twice and that the counting of some missing ballots inflated Franken's lead by another 46 votes.
The Republicans aren't happy and leaders say they won't let Franken take a seat in the Senate before any court challenges are finished, the Pioneer Press says.
Republicans would block any Democrat-led attempt to fill Republican Sen. Norm Coleman's seat while the outcome of the 2008 U.S. Senate race is in doubt, Sen. John Cornyn, the incoming head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said today.
During a conference call with reporters, the Texas Republican said no GOP member would support such a move.
While no Democrat has definitely said DFLer Al Franken should be anointed the winner, some have floated the idea of seating a senator provisionally.
"This is a very, very serious matter," said Cornyn, who sat for eight years on the Texas Supreme Court. "I can assure you there will be no way that people on our side of the aisle will agree to seat a senator without a valid (election) certificate, provisionally or otherwise."
New York Sen. Charles Schumer said there is no way former Republican Sen. Norm Coleman, whose term expired Saturday, can find enough votes in an election lawsuit to turn the votes around.
"Even if all the ballots Coleman claims were double counted or erroneously added were resolved in his favor, he still wouldn't have enough votes to win," Schumer said.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has called upon Norm Coleman to concede defeat in the Minnesota Senate race. Reid also reminded Coleman of his own calls early on in this process for Franken to concede and not waste taxpayer time and money:
I believe that tomorrow the bipartisan state canvassing board will certify Al Franken the winner. After all, early on Senator Coleman criticized Al Franken for wanting a recount and wasting taxpayer money. I would hope now that it is clear he lost, that Senator Coleman follow his own advice and not subject the people of Minnesota to a costly legal battle.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss City Pages' biggest stories.