Franken within 204 votes of Coleman

Nov. 10, 2008 at 1:54 PM
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ST. PAUL, Minn., Nov. 10 (UPI) -- Democrat Al Franken has pulled within 204 votes of Republican incumbent Norm Coleman in Minnesota's U.S. Senate race, the unofficial tally showed Monday.

At noontime, Coleman had 1,211,560 votes to Franken's 1,211,356, the Star Tribune reported. The two had been separated by as many as 725 votes in the first hours after last Tuesday's election, with the margin steadily sliding toward Franken's favor and had reached 221 by the weekend, the newspaper noted.

The fluidity results from county officials double-checking results and sending adjusted figures to the state.

The campaign staff for Coleman, who is seeking a second term, has expressed suspicion about his shrinking lead. However, Secretary of State Mark Ritchie has said there was no sign of fraud.

A recount is assured because the results are less than 0.5 percent of the total vote count. Ritchie says that should be completed by mid-December.

About 2.9 million votes were cast, with independent candidate Dean Barkley garnering most of the rest.

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