Claiming a four-vote lead with all but a few missing ballots counted, Democrat Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenMeet the Democrats' last best hope of preserving a House majority Franken rules out challenge against Gillibrand for Senate seat Franken targets senators from both parties in new comedy tour MORE's campaign asked the state's 87 counties to open and count absentee ballots they allege were improperly disqualified.

"Today we are sending a letter to all 87 counties asking them that...the ballots for which there is no legal justification for them not being counted be opened and counted," said Franken attorney Marc Elias in a conference call Friday.

The Minnesota Secretary of State's office had ordered counties to sort rejected absentee ballots earlier this week, the fifth category of which include ballots local officials deem to have been improperly disqualified.

"While we are pleased that we remain ahead in this recount, we want to give our thanks and appreciation for all Minnesota