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December 30, 2008

Franken: I'm on track to win

Al Franken said he believes he is “on track to win” the Minnesota Senate race against Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.), in a statement released by his campaign today.

These were the first comments Franken has made in several weeks, as he has remained silent throughout most of the recount process.

“I'm glad to be ahead, and as it appears that we're on track to win, I want Minnesotans to know that I'm ready to get to work for them in Washington on Day One,” Franken said in a statement.

Franken also sent out an e-mail to his supporters with a similar message.

The state's Canvassing Board finished allocating several disputed ballots to the count this morning, with Franken increasing his razor-thin lead to 50 votes over Coleman.

The board still needs to resolve disputes over some 1,347 uncounted absentee ballots that were mistakenly rejected by election officials. The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported that those absentee ballots are expected to further increase Franken’s lead.

The two campaigns have feuded over how many ballots should be included.  Franken's campaign wanted to immediately count the 1,347 absentee ballots but the Coleman campaign wanted to add an additional 650 rejected absentee ballots to the count – largely from Republican-friendly precincts.

Coleman’s campaign has signaled that it will challenge the results in court if it’s trailing at the end of the recount process.