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Democrat Al Franken's lead in Minnesota's U.S. Senate race has grown to 312 votes now that hundreds of absentee ballots have been added to the counting.

A three-judge panel ruled that the rejected absentee ballots should be opened and counted after hearing weeks of testimony in a lawsuit brought by Republican Norm Coleman.

Franken led by 225 votes going into Tuesday's count of those absentee ballots.

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