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December 05, 2008

Franken camp claims four-vote lead

With all but one precinct recounted in the Minnesota Senate race, Franken campaign attorney Marc Elias is claiming Franken leads Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.) by four votes.

The number from Franken's internal tally does not include the Minneapolis precinct where 133 ballots went missing. The Franken count includes the thousands of disputed ballots that both campaigns objected to during the recount process.

The official secretary of state count, as reported by the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, shows Coleman leading by 192 votes -- 23 votes less than his post-election 215-vote lead.

That figure will change as well, when the Minnesota Canvassing Board pores over thousands of disputed ballots that were objected to by both campaigns during the recount process. That process begins on December 16.

Coleman's campaign predicted it will remain ahead after election officials determine which disputed ballots will be included in the final count.

"We are confident that when the Canvassing Board begins meeting on December 16th and ultimately completes its work, that Norm Coleman will continue to be ahead, and will be reelected to the United States Senate," said Coleman campaign manager Cullen Sheehan.