The latest is that Al Franken has been declared the winner by 225 votes, but he will not be able to receive an actual certificate of election until all legal challenges are resolved. The main remaining issues concern the Coleman campaign’s contention that hundreds of rejected absentee ballots from Coleman-friendly areas should have been counted just as the ballots from Franken-friendly areas were, and the dispute over whether some ballots were double-counted.
Coleman recount attorney Tony Trimble released a statement on the matter, and here’s an excerpt:
The actions today by the Canvassing Board are but the first step in what, unfortunately, will now have to be a longer process. This process isn’t at the end; it is now just at the beginning. We will contest the results of the Canvassing Board — otherwise, literally millions of Minnesotans will be disenfranchised.
While we appreciate the effort of this board to do the work, the reality is that any certification of vote totals at this point is only preliminary. As this Canvassing Board has recognized, there still exist serious problems with inconsistencies in the administrative recount, and therefore in the validity and reliability of the numbers certified today. There can be no count that is accurate or valid when 654 potentially valid absentee votes remain disenfranchised and when some votes are counted twice – leading to a violation of one of the most sacred principles of our constitution – “One person, One vote.”
And, there can be no justification to report out a total when 133 votes were included in a count where there are not ballots to support them. Or when a batch of votes were not counted on Election Night, but were miraculously “found” during the recount and included.
If the Canvassing Board had resolved all these issues, then the process might be completed. But the Board has deferred the resolution of those issues for the contest phase provided for in Minnesota law. Since the process is far from complete, there can be no confidence in the current results of the United States Senate Recount, and we will file a contest within the next 24 hours to promptly correct those problems and inaccuracies. The Supreme Court ruling today also emphasizes that that’s what we must do to provide an accurate count for this election.
Roll Call is reporting that Harry Reid will try to seat Franken without a certificate of election, even though he has cited a lack of a certificate of election in Illinois as the reason why he won’t seat Roland Burris.