Will Al Franken actually become a U.S. Senator?

[NOTE: I wrote this story, but Brian beat me to the front page report. I offer it here as a diary, something of a diversion.]

Raise a stein for Franken! The Minnesota Board of Canvassers has voted unanimously to suggest that county boards to count all ballots which Norm Coleman tried to have thrown out as inconclusive to which comedian Al Franken replied, Nuh-huh!” Ballgame over? Raise the Franken stein and drink deeply? Rise and make yourself known, Mr. Senator Alan Stuart Franken? Nope. The Board of Canvassers is technically impotent in this matter. Their “ruling” was more like a “pretty please,” if that.

In Minnesota, the DFL take care of their own.

The decision came after Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson (D) recommended their inclusion.

“They followed the rules,” she said of the voters whose ballots were disqualified. “They had their votes rejected through no fault of their own.”

Also Friday, the Board of Canvassers demanded that an vote count from election night from a Minneapolis precinct be used instead of a later hand recount during. (Between the first count and the recount, 133 ballots disappeared.) This move, the Board believes, will also help Franken.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune says Senator Coleman is leading by 192 votes, while Team Franken had decided that Al is winning by five. The Board meets next week to determine the validity of some 4,500 other ballots that have been challenged.

The Minnesota Canvassing Board is chaired by extreme partisan Democrat Secretary of State Mark Ritchie. Members are Chief Justice Eric J. Magnuson of the Minnesota Supreme Court, Associate Justice G. Barry Anderson, Minnesota Supreme Court; Judge Kathleen Gearin, District Court Judge; and Chief Judge, Second Judicial District Judge Edward J. Cleary. Chris Steller of the Minnesota Indpendent liveblogged their meeting this morning. It shows that hyper-partisan Secretary of State Ritchie gung ho for counting the ballots which might lead to his candidate’s victory, while Chief Justice Magnuson takes the rational approach: “I’m uncomfortable with us as board whose job is to review even recommending that election officials take certain actions. I’m uncomfortable directing them to do anything.”

If Secretary of State Ritchie gets his way, we may soon be raisin the stein for Franken. And who knows, perhaps Richie can get around the residency requirement and join Franken as the new U.S. senator from Illinois