Court order to count 25 votes likely raises Franken’s lead to 250

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Al Franken likely increased his lead over former U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman to 250 votes after the three-judge panel presiding over the Minnesota Senate election contest ordered that 25 absentee ballots be counted. The court order requires local officials to send 24 ballots (14 from two metro counties, 10 from around the state) to Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, as well as a 25th as-yet-unopened ballot from Dakota County that’s believed to contain a voter registration application within the ballot’s secrecy envelope.

At least some of the ballots belong to voters who filed court affidavits suggesting they support Franken. The ruling may usher in more such additions to the recount tally that could eventually add votes to the tallies of both Franken, a Democrat, and Coleman, a Republican.

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