[JURIST] A three-judge panel for the Minnesota State Court for the Second District [official website] on Monday declared [order; PDF] Al Franken [campaign website] the winner of the state's 2008 US Senate race over opponent Norm Coleman [campaign website]. Both candidates had brought claims before the court over absentee ballots in their favor that they said were legally cast but wrongfully rejected. The court held that an April 7 order giving Franken 1,212,629 votes and Coleman 1,212,317 votes entitled Franken to be certified as the winner, and dismissed claims by Coleman that the count either included votes which had been counted twice, or should have included votes cast in his favor which still would not have given him more votes than Franken. Franken celebrated [press release] the court's finding, and asked Coleman to accept the ruling and allow Franken to begin serving in the US Senate. A spokesperson for Coleman said he would challenge the order [press release] in the Minnesota State Supreme Court, and that he may even pursue the case to the US Supreme Court.
Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) [official website] currently serves as the sole senator of Minnesota. Prior to the court order, a mandatory manual recount concluded in January similarly showed that Franken had won the election by 225 votes.