Minnesota’s Secretary of State says that state officials plan to declare Al Franken the winner of the Senate seat against incumbent Norm Coleman in certified election results on Monday.
But even though the most recent tally shows Franken with a 225-vote lead over Coleman — the margin widened after additional absentee ballots were counted on Saturday — there’s still some question as to who will occupy the seat when the Senate convenes on Tuesday. Coleman is pressing the state Supreme Court to count an additional batch of ballots he says were improperly rejected. And Republicans have indicated that they plan to filibuster if attempts are made to seat Franken before the race is fully resolved.
If Franken wins, it will mark a stunning turn of events in one of the state’s most expensive and contentious election battles. The day after the election, he trailed Coleman by nearly the same margin he now leads. But the results were so close that it triggered an automatic recount, one that has gone on for nearly two months.
Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), who chaired the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee the past two election cycles, declared Franken the winner.
“There is no longer any doubt who will be the next senator from Minnesota,” Schumer said, per CNN. “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.”