There will be a “near final” total of counted ballots by the end of the day Tuesday in the elongated Minnesota U.S. Senate race between Republican Norm Coleman and Democrat Al Franken, Secretary of State Mark Ritchie said on WCCO-TV Sunday morning. Franken currently has a 260-vote lead according to a Pioneer Press story found here: www.twincities.com/ci_11280046. It’s not clear if that margin will stand or what or how much will change by Tuesday’s end, Ritchie said. Everything will be “basically done” by Tuesday night, Ritchie said, except for wrongly rejected absentee ballots and those from overseas, including military absentee ballots. The Minnesota Supreme Court ruled last week that all counties must report the votes on those wrongly rejected ballots by Dec. 31. Despite having plenty of work left ahead, Ritchie said Sunday he’s hoping to have the entire recount process done by Jan. 5… For those not familiar, that’s the day before the next Congress will be sworn in. Nothing like cutting it close.