[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/02/art.getty.al.franken.jpg caption=" Democratic challenger Al Franken has a slight lead over Republican incumbent Norm Coleman in the race for the Minnesota Senate seat."]MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota (CNN) – Sen. John Cornyn, the chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, is weighing in on Minnesota's close and still unresolved U.S. Senate race, saying Friday that no one should be seated until a winner is made official by both the Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie and Gov. Tim Pawlenty.
Currently, Democratic challenger Al Franken holds a slight lead of about 50 votes over Republican incumbent Sen. Norm Coleman, but this number does not reflect what could be more than a thousand improperly rejected absentee ballots still to be tallied, which would sway results.
Cornyn, a Republican from the state of Texas, said a filibuster may be in order if Franken were seated before an official certificate is signed by Ritchie and Pawlenty.
"There will be no way that people on our side of the aisle will agree to seat any senator provisionally or otherwise," he told reporters on a conference call.
The new Congress will be sworn in Jan. 6, and it's unlikely a certificate would be signed by then. Speculation over what could happen in the interim included the possibility that the Democratically-controlled body would provisionally seat Franken if he remains in the lead.
"It is very clear that the people of Minnesota and the courts in Minnesota should make the decision about who won the Minnesota Senate election and not political leaders in Washington, DC."
The Coleman campaign is hoping the Minnesota Supreme Court will intervene over the issue of the improperly rejected absentee ballots because they say there is no uniform standard for local officials and the campaigns to review and count them.
It's also possible for an election contest to be filed after the Secretary of State certifies the results. The Coleman campaign has hinted at the increasing likelihood that they'd again go to the high court, which could mean a resolution would still be weeks away.
The secretary of states office is scheduled to tally improperly rejected absentee ballots this weekend and could have a result as early as Monday, though the meaning of any such result without a governor's signature remains to be seen.