Al Franken Hub
The Minnesota Supreme Court has declared Al Franken the winner in his U.S. Senate race against incumbent Norm Coleman:
"'Affirmed,' wrote the Supreme Court, unanimously rejecting Republican Norm Coleman's claims that inconsistent practices by local elections officials and wrong decisions by a lower court had denied him victory. 'Al Franken received the highest number of votes legally cast and is entitled [under Minnesota law] to receive the certificate of election as United States Senator from the State of Minnesota,' the court wrote."
UPDATE: And Coleman has conceded.
Watch MSNBC report, AFTER THE JUMP...
A three judge panel declared Al Franken received the most votes and is the winner in Minnesota's drawn out and contentious Senate race. It's not over though:
"The ruling isn't expected to be the final word because Coleman immediately announced plans to appeal to the state Supreme Court. He has 10 days to do so. That appeal could mean weeks more delay in seating Minnesota's second senator. After a statewide recount and seven-week trial, Franken stands 312 votes ahead. Franken actually gained more votes from the election challenge than Coleman, the candidate who brought it."
DNC Chair Tim Kaine released a statement: "Enough is enough. It is time for Norm Coleman to concede and for Al Franken to be sworn in as the next U.S. Senator from Minnesota. The voters of Minnesota months ago elected Al Franken to the Senate – and during every step in the legal process that judgment has been confirmed. Norm Coleman’s own legal challenge resulted in more votes for Al Franken and now a three judge panel has ruled Al Franken the winner. Former Senator Coleman’s insistence on continuing his quixotic quest for this seat at best shows that he is putting his own political ambition ahead of the people and worst that he is complicit in an effort by national Republicans to deny Al Franken this seat for as long as possible so there is one less Democratic vote for President Obama’s agenda for change. The people of Minnesota deserve two Senators and the people of America deserve 100 in the U.S. Senate. More importantly, the voters who cast ballots on Election Day deserve to have their verdict stand. Senator Coleman may have a right to continue his legal challenges no matter how hopeless they are, but the right thing to do here is to concede defeat and allow this saga to end once and for all.”
Oral arguments in Coleman's appeal aren't expected to happen until mid to late May.
Watch KTSP's report, and interview with Coleman, AFTER THE JUMP...
His speech to reporters, as well as a message from Bill O'Reilly, AFTER THE JUMP...
The Minnesota State Election Board tomorrow will announce Al Franken the winner in that state's contentious Senate race against incumbent Norm Coleman:
"The canvassing board on Monday will say a recount determined Franken won by 225 votes, Secretary of State Mark Ritchie told CNN. However, Coleman's campaign, which contends the recount should have included about 650 absentee ballots it says were improperly rejected in the initial count, has indicated it will challenge the certification. Coleman campaign manager Cullen Sheehan said his team believes the recount process was broken and that 'the numbers being reported will not be accurate or valid.'... 'The effort by the Franken campaign, supported by the secretary of state, to exclude improperly rejected absentee ballots is indefensible and disenfranchises hundreds of Minnesota voters,' Sheehan said. After the results are certified, Coleman's campaign will have seven days to file a challenge."
Senator Chuck Schumer indicated that the Senate should seat Franken: "With the Minnesota recount complete, it is now clear that Al Franken won the election. The Canvassing Board will meet tomorrow to wrap up its work and certify him the winner, and while there are still possible legal issues that will run their course, there is no longer any doubt who will be the next Senator from Minnesota."
It's doubtful that will happen easily: "Sen. John Cornyn, the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, called Schumer's comments premature and troubling, since Schumer is the new chairman of the Senate Rules Committee, which has jurisdiction over contested elections."
CNN's announcement, AFTER THE JUMP...