(CN) – In Minnesota’s tight race for Senate, the state Supreme Court rejected Republican incumbent Norm Coleman’s effort to overtake Democratic challenger Al Franken’s slight lead in the recount by counting several hundred additional absentee ballots.
A tally of rejected absentee ballots over the weekend gave Franken a 225-vote edge over Coleman.
Coleman’s campaign claimed there were 654 more absentee ballots to be counted, while Franken’s campaign identified other ballots that may have been rejected in error.
“We take no position on the merits of either campaign’s contentions,” Associate Justice Alan Page wrote. “Because the parties and respective counties have not agreed as to any of these additional ballots, the merits of this dispute (and any other disputes with respect to absentee ballots) are the proper subjects of an election contest.”
The State Canvassing Board could certify the results as early as Monday, when it convenes at 3:30 p.m. Eastern time.
Coleman attorney Fritz Knaak issued a statement calling the ruling “disappointing and disheartening.”
Franken’s lead recount attorney, Marc Elias, asserted that, “with the last attempt to halt the counting process now having failed, Al Franken will be declared the winner.”