Three-judge panel: Franken wins Minnesota Senate seat

Coleman lawyer Ben Ginsberg plans appeal, but the end is near.

Published April 14, 2009 10:36AM (EDT)

Salon just got a news alert from the Democratic National Committee announcing that the three-judge panel that has been supervising the Minnesota Senate race recount has declared Democrat Al Franken the winner.

"Franken received the highest number of lawfully cast ballots in the Nov. 4, 2008 general election," the ruling stated. With recently added absentee ballots counted, Franken upped his lead over incumbent Norm Coleman to 312 votes. The panel determined that Franken is entitled to receive the certificate of election.

Coleman's lawyer Ben Ginsberg insists he'll appeal the ruling to the Minnesota Supreme Court. But the state's Democratic Secretary of State Mark Ritchie insists he welcomes that appeal, because it has to come within 10 days of this ruling, and could provide bipartisan closure.

It may be too early to say "Welcome Sen. Franken," but it looks like we're roughly 10 days away from being able to say exactly that. We'll keep you posted.


By Joan Walsh

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2008 Elections