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Franken on the recount

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DFLer Al Franken says he's not ready to concede the U.S. Senate race to incumbent Republican Norm Coleman, who is ahead by under 500 votes. "There's reason to believe that the recount could change the vote tallies significantly," said Franken.
MPR Photo/Tim Nelson

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Al Franken says it is clear that the votes in Minnesota's Senate race need to be recounted, given how close the results are. 

According to the Minnesota Secretary of State's latest tally, Coleman has 342 more votes than Franken. Yesterday, the difference was several hundred more than that. 

Today on MPR's Midday program, Franken said the recount is not about his campaign, but instead about ensuring the votes Minnesotans cast were accurately tabulated.

Franken noted that the vote tally has changed by several hundred in just the past two days.

"This is the closest race in Minnesota history -- the closest Senate race and the closest race anywhere in the country," said Franken. "And this is just part of the process to make sure every vote is counted fairly."

Franken says if the recount determines he lost, then "I'll be the first to congratulate Senator Coleman."

Franken says for now he will hold off on any legal challenge. The Minnesota Secretary of State says it could be December before results of a recount are known. 

County elections officials are still double-checking their work, so the vote totals reported by the Secretary of State's office will continue to fluctuate for a few more days.  

The deadline for county canvassing boards to certify their numbers is Monday, Nov. 10. The counties are required to submit their election reports by Nov. 14 to the Secretary of State. 

The State Canvassing Board will then meet on Tuesday, Nov. 18 to certify the election. At that point, the board will order a recount which is required by state law.