DFLer Al Franken has an unofficial 225-vote lead over Republican Sen. Norm Coleman, out of about 2.9 million ballots cast. Franken's lead grew Saturday by 176 votes with the counting of 933 wrongly rejected absentee ballots. When the recount began on Nov. 19, Coleman led by 215 votes.
Officials of the secretary of state's office in St. Paul counted previously rejected absentee ballots that the campaigns and local elected officials had agreed were improperly excluded. The tally completes the recount in the U.S. Senate race, pending a Supreme Court ruling on a Coleman motion to reconsider more ballots and a possible court challenge to the result.
The Minnesota Supreme Court received filings Saturday from the Franken campaign and local officials, responding to a Coleman campaign motion to revamp the process of identifying wrongly rejected ballots -- or at least to reconsider hundreds of additional ballots.
Monday: The state Canvassing Board meets at 2:30 p.m. to receive vote totals, resolve any challenges concerning voter intent on the final batch of ballots, and, pending a decision from the court, certify a final result. It will meet again Tuesday if necessary.
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