A newly discovered group of ballots is giving a slight boost to Democrat Al Franken's chances in the disputed Minnesota Senate race, but it still isn't enough to undo the incumbent's persistent lead.
Ramsey County officials found the 171 ballots yesterday, just as they were wrapping up their recount. After the votes were tallied, Franken gained 37 votes on incumbent Sen. Norm Coleman's lead.
Through yesterday, Coleman's margin was 303 votes. However, the numbers can still shift as the last counties wrap up their work this week.
The lead has bounced up and down since the recount began. The exact margin is difficult to know because both sides have put thousands of ballots in limbo through challenges.
Those disputed ballots won't be sorted out until a canvassing board meeting that begins Dec. 16.
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved