"I'm proud to stand before you as the next Senator from Minnesota"
Al Franken after the Minnesota Canvassing Board certified his 225 vote lead
In the above video Al Franken thanks his supporters outside his home and says he's ready to get to work as Minnesota's next Senator.
Two Justices, two Judges and Minnesota's Secretary of State agree: Al Franken got the most legally cast votes for US Senate. However, that does not automatically make him Minnesota's next US Senator.
The five member State Canvassing signed the paperwork certifiying the vote totals from the recount and previously rejected absentee ballots. Here are the totals from the certificate of results.
Al Franken 1,212,431
Norm Coleman 1,212,206
Franken held a news conference about two hours after the certificate was signed saying he was ready to go to Washington and focus on "serving Minnesotans".
Today's vote total certification is the latest in what has been a long string of events since election day. It marks the end of the recount and the very likely beginning of a court challenge. Coleman's lawyers have indicated that they very likely will file an election contest as early as Tuesday. Such a challenge needs to be filed no later than seven days after the vote totals are certified. If Coleman files an election challenge, that would delay Governor Tim Pawlenty signing a certificate of election until the challenge is resolved.
An election contest would be heard by a three judge panel appointed by the Minnesota Supreme Court's Chief Justice. It is a civil trial, meaning the Coleman campaign could bring in evidence that it was not allowed to have reviewed by the Canvassing Board or the Minnesota Supreme Court. Coleman's campaign claims votes were "double counted" in some Minneapolis precincts and also said about 600 absentee ballots were wrongly rejected and should have been included in the count.
Earlier today the Minnesota Supreme Court denied a Coleman campaign motion to have those rejected absentee ballots included in the count.