April 7th, 2009
01:05 PM ET
5 years ago

Franken remains ahead as judges prepare their decision

Democrat Al Franken extended his lead over former Republican Sen. Norm Coleman Tuesday as the three-judge panel overseeing the election trial tallied an additional 351 absentee ballots that had not previously been included.
Democrat Al Franken extended his lead over former Republican Sen. Norm Coleman Tuesday as the three-judge panel overseeing the election trial tallied an additional 351 absentee ballots that had not previously been included.

ST. PAUL, Minnesota (CNN) – Democrat Al Franken extended his lead over former Republican Sen. Norm Coleman Tuesday as the three-judge panel overseeing the election trial tallied an additional 351 absentee ballots that had not previously been included.

Despite his slim chances, Coleman had been hoping to overtake Franken's first post-recount lead of 225 votes. After Tuesday's additions, Franken leads by more than 300.

While the judges did not offer an official ruling - or indicate when they would - these vote totals are likely to remain unchanged.

"I think we are done," Franken attorney Marc Elias said at a press conference upon the completion of the tallying at the Minnesota Judicial Center. ""There is a sense of relief that it's over, at a personal level."

But banking on the fact that the judges' final decision would rest in Franken's favor, Coleman attorney Ben Ginsberg reasserted the former senator's desire to appeal the case to the Minnesota Supreme Court.

"It is indeed important that the issues be resolved in this case," Ginsberg said. "There are unequal treatment [sic] of the same vote between counties."

Coleman's argument throughout the seven-week trial had been largely focused on the issue of equal protection. Ginsberg would neither confirm nor deny whether they would pursue their case in federal court if hit with a similar scenario after the state appeal.

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