Franken had, by some counts, been leading by 251 votes before incorporating the withdrawn challenges.
Two days ago, Franken's lead lawyer, Mark Elias, set forth the Franken campaign's evaluation of where the results would stand after incorporation of the previously-challenged ballots. As quoted at MinnPost.Com, Elias predicted that:
Al Franken will have more votes than Norm Coleman … We believe firmly that margin will be between 35 and 50 … At some point not long after that, Al Franken will stand before you as the senator-elect from Minnesota.
The current vote total does not include some ballot challenges which remain unresolved, but which should be resolved tomorrow; nor does it include an estimated 1,500 to 1,600 absentee ballots which had apparently been improperly rejected. The Minnesota Supreme Court has instructed the candidates to cooperate in coming up with a plan by December 31 to allow for the counting of the improperly rejected absentee ballots. (Video of the oral arguments before the Minnesota Supreme Court on that issue, in Coleman v. Ritchie, is available here.)
The Minnesota State Canvassing Board, when it meets tomorrow, is expected to act to officially allocate the previously-challenged votes. The Secretary of State chairs that Board, whose rulings thus far have been largely across party lines, by unanimous agreement. The Canvassing Board meetings are live-streamed both by the Star Tribune and TheUpTake.
At this point, based upon prior court rulings and the state of the vote tally, Al Franken has to be favored to become the next U.S. Senator from Minnesota.
Photo: Al Franken campaigning, from Wikimedia Commons.