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Al Franken not yet allowed to take Senate seat

The Democrat and former comedian asked Minnesota leaders to issue an election certificate, but the officials say their hands are tied. Republican Norm Coleman is suing over a close recount.

January 13, 2009|associated press

ST. PAUL, MINN. — Democrat Al Franken was quickly turned down Monday when he asked Minnesota's governor and secretary of state to issue an election certificate that would let him take office in the Senate.

In letters the campaign sent to Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Democratic Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, Franken's lawyers argued that a seven-day waiting period for issuing the certificate after an election has passed and he should get the signed certificate. But the state officials said their hands were tied by state law and they could not act.

Franken led Republican Norm Coleman by 225 votes after a statewide recount that was completed Jan. 5.

Coleman is suing over the result, claiming there were irregularities on election day and during the recount.

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