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What's Next For The Minn. Senate Race?

(AP)
A Minnesota court awarded Al Franken about $95,000 in legal fees from Norm Coleman Wednesday, but we still await the big decision from the State Supreme Court on the Senate race. While we do, here are a couple of things to keep in mind.

First, if the State Supreme Court's decision favors Norm Coleman, remember that won't in itself give him the Senate seat. If the rejected absentee ballots that Coleman wants reconsidered are actually opened up, it isn't known whether the votes would help Coleman's numbers or Franken's. Depending on what the court orders, such a ruling might only send the race back to the Secretary of State's office to begin a process of reconsidering them.

And if Franken prevails, watch to see if the court also directs the governor and secretary of state to release an election certificate. Although Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty has said he'll sign one if ordered to, there's been much speculation over whether he would issue one after a court ruling for the Democrat Franken, especially if Coleman subsequently appeals or files new lawsuits.

By state law, any election certificate needs to be issued by the governor with the secretary of state's co-signature.

Anthony Salvanto CBS News Elections Director

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