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Reid: Coleman Should Accept Franken Victory

A Minnesota board has certified election results showing Democrat Al Franken has won the U.S. Senate recount -- by 225 votes. 

But that doesn't mean the former Saturday Night Live comedian's race against his Republican opponent, incumbent Sen. Norm Coleman, is over. A legal challenge will keep the race in limbo. 

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he believes that Franken's opponent should not drag out the process any longer with a pricey lawsuit.

"Now that the bipartisan state Canvassing Board has certified Al Franken as the winner, we hope Sen. Coleman respects its decision and does not drag this out for months with litigation," Reid spokesman Jim Manley said Monday night. "Shortly after Election Day, Coleman criticized Mr. Franken for wanting a recount and wasting taxpayer money. Now that it is clear he lost, Coleman should follow his own advice and not subject the people of Minnesota to a costly legal battle."

There won't be an attempt to seat Franken on Tuesday, according to a statement from Reid's office.

The Canvassing Board's declaration started a seven-day clock for Coleman to file a lawsuit protesting the result. His attorney Tony Trimble said the challenge will be filed within 24 hours. The challenge will keep Franken from getting the election certificate he needs to take the seat in Washington. 

"This process isn't at an end," Trimble said. "It is now just at the beginning." 

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell also said he doesn't expect an election certificate to be issued until the litigation is over. 

Coleman's lawyers have argued that some ballots were mishandled and others were wrongly excluded from the recount. Lead attorney Fritz Knaak said a lawsuit was inevitable after the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled against Coleman earlier on Monday. A lawsuit would extend the fight over the seat for months. 

"After 62 days of careful and painstaking hand-inspection of nearly 3 million ballots, after hours and hours of hard work by election officials and volunteers around the state, I am proud to stand before you as the next senator from Minnesota," Franken said Monday in brief remarks to reporters outside his downtown condominium.

Franken aides say the Democrat has no plans to travel to Washington yet. 

FOX News has learned from senior Senate Democratic aides that some Democratic leaders may try to seat the former comedian provisionally on Tuesday, much as was done in 1997 in the case of Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La.

Landrieu was seated temporarily while the Rules Committee launched an investigation into recount problems in the state. Ultimately, Landrieu took her seat.

Republicans have vowed to block any such move because Coleman is expected to challenge the recount. 

Secretary of State Mark Ritchie was careful to note that the board was simply signing off on the numbers found by the recount: Franken, with 1,212,431 votes, and Coleman, with 1,212,206 votes. 

"We're not doing anything today that declares winners or losers or anything to that effect," Ritchie said. 

The recount reversed the unofficial Election Day results, which showed Coleman with a 215-vote lead. 

Franken made up the deficit over seven tortuous weeks of ballot-sifting in part by prevailing on challenges that both campaigns brought to thousands of ballots. He also did better than Coleman when election officials opened and counted more than 900 absentee ballots that had erroneously been disqualified on Election Day.

FOX News' Trish Turner and The Associated Press contributed to this report.