Jefferson City, MO – Missouri Secretary of State Matt Blunt has formally certified the results of the 2002 midterm election. The action clears the way for Senator-elect Jim Talent to take office, but precisely when that will happen is still unclear.
Blunt says a letter signed by Governor Bob Holden has been sent to the US Senate affirming the results of the election, including Talent's victory.
Talent defeated incumbent Democrat Jean Carnahan by some 21,000 votes. Because this was a special election held to fill the remaining four years of the Senate term won posthumously by the late Governor Mel Carnahan, Talent can conceivably take office as early as this weekend. A Talent spokesperson says that's likely to be the case, although he says Talent will not actually be sworn in until the Senate reconvenes January 7.