Senator Al Franken (D-MN) (UPDATED X2)

Minnesota’s State Canvassing Board will make it official today:

The state Canvassing Board was poised to certify the results of the recount in Minnesota’s grueling Senate election in Al Franken’s favor _ but that doesn’t mean the race is definitely over.

The board was to meet Monday and was expected to declare which candidate received the most overall votes from nearly 3 million ballots cast. The latest numbers showed Franken, a Democrat, with a 225-vote lead over Republican Sen. Norm Coleman, who led Franken on election night.

But after the announcement, there will be a seven-day waiting period before an election certificate is completed. If any lawsuits are filed during that waiting period, certification is conditional until the issue is settled in court.

Norm Coleman is going to drag the court battle out as much as possible, since Minnesota law prevents Franken from being officially certified the winner–thus keeping him out of the Senate–until Coleman’s legal challenges are resolved.

I guess I can’t blame Coleman for doing everything possible to win–if the situation were reversed, I’d probably want Franken to do the same. But Coleman knows that it’s unlikely he’ll emerge as the winner, even if the courts rule in his favor.

So while Norm Coleman is doing what’s best for himself and for the Republican Party, maybe he should put those interests aside and do what’s best for the people of Minnesota, who deserve to be represented by their duly-elected Senator.

UPDATE: Here’s the substance of Coleman’s impending lawsuit:

Coleman’s lawyers promised a lawsuit over their claim that some ballots duplicated on election night wound up being counted twice in the recount.

The Coleman campaign also has a petition pending before the state Supreme Court to include 650 ballots that it says were improperly rejected but not forwarded by local officials to St. Paul for counting.

UPDATE II: That was fast:

The Minnesota Supreme Court has rejected Republican Norm Coleman’s request to count an additional 650 rejected absentee ballots in the state’s U.S. Senate recount.

The court’s ruling Monday likely paves the way for the state Canvassing Board to certify results showing Democrat Al Franken won the race. But Coleman’s attorneys have said they are likely to sue if he loses the recount, meaning it could be weeks more before the outcome is final.