As of this morning, Al Franken holds a 50-vote lead over Norm Coleman in the latest Minnesota Senate race tally. Next week the state Canvassing Board will declare a winner–or not. But if the margin remains this close, state law does provide the option of just drawing straws to see who gets to represent Minnesota in the Senate. I’m sure no one would have a problem with that.
Even with a difference of just a few dozen votes, this isn’t the closest U.S. Senate race on record. That distinction belongs to the 1974 New Hampshire contest, in which Democrat John Durkin ended up with a 10-ballot lead over Republican Louis Wyman–until a recount determined that Wyman had actually won by a whole two votes. Neither man was officially seated in the Senate, though, and ultimately the state held a new election in which Durkin handily defeated Wyman.