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U.S. Senate could play a role if recount drags on

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A ballot in Rochester challenged by both campaigns
A ballot in Rochester, Minn., with markings next to both candidates, was challenged by both the Coleman and Franken campaigns on the first day of the recount for Minnesota's U.S. Senate election.
MPR Photo/Sea Stachura

The final result depends on a number of factors, including improperly rejected absentee ballots and ballots the campaigns initially challenged and then allowed to stand.  It's possible that the work won't be done before the Senate reconvenes.

If there is a vacancy in the Senate, it falls to Gov. Tim Pawlenty to appoint a senator. Late last week, the governor said he doesn't think that will happen, but he's begun to look at the laws just in case. 

Morning Edition host Cathy Wurzer talked with Washington University political scientist Steven Smith about what happens if the recount process drags on, and what role the U.S. Senate could play in the process.