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Panel rules in favor of Franken

Democrat Al Franken was confirmed as the winner of the 2008 U.S. Senate race, a three-judge panel unanimously decided on Monday, the Pioneer Press reported.

After Franken won a recount that concluded in January, Republican Norm Coleman challenged the result that could end his senatorial service after one term.

The panel said that Franken may receive an election certificate, the Pioneer Press reported.

The judges rejected Coleman's argument that inconsistent standards were applied when counting absentee ballots, the Star Tribune reported.

Coleman was attempting to have at least 1,300 ballots opened, Minnesota Public Radio reported. The judges said he did not prove that double-counting had occurred.

Only 351 ballots were opened and counted last week, the Pioneer Press reported.

Coleman said in an interview on Monday that he planned an appeal to the Minnesota Supreme Court, the Star Tribune reported. He will have 10 days to do so, MPR reported.