Saturday, November 13, 2010

Alaska: Efforts to steal election waning

JUNEAU, Alaska – The lawyers have started leaving.

That is perhaps the surest sign that Joe Miller’s chances of becoming the next senator from Alaska are evaporating. With each passing day that election workers here in the state capital manually count write-in votes cast for Senator Lisa Murkowski, it appears increasingly likely that Alaskans spell too well for Mr. Miller’s math to work.

Assisted by lawyers sent by the Republican National Senatorial Committee, the Miller campaign set out to challenge every smudge, stray mark and misspelling they could find (and, often, only they could find) on write-in votes that appeared to be for Ms. Murkowski.

The plan was to question enough votes to close the 11,000-vote margin by which he trails – and then to convince the courts that those challenged votes should be discounted.

Alaska law says write-in votes will be counted if the name or last name is written “as it appears” on the candidate’s declaration form. But state election officials, citing legal precedent in the state, said they would count all votes in which they could determine “voter intent,” misspellings aside.

Now the dispute could become irrelevant. After three days of counting, the state has determined that 98 percent of write-in ballots were cast for Ms. Murkowski – and 90 percent of those were cast so cleanly that they have survived even the sometimes bafflingly strict scrutiny applied by monitors working for Mr. Miller.
Read the rest here.


The Archer of the Forest said...

I will be interested to see if Alaska changes its law shortly to not allow a candidate to run in a general election if they've lost a primary. A lot of states to that to prevent this exact thing from happening.

The Archer of the Forest said...

And I must say I find your headline most entertaining because Murkowski stole the election first, fair and square. She lost the primary fair and square and wouldn't take no for an answer. I think both parties are acting incredibly unethically.

reader joseph said...

if Murkowski didn't break an existing law, she can hardly be considered to have stolen the election. it may be sour grapes, but think of this scenario: in a state (like mine - Alabama) where voters do not register by party and primaries are open, the opposition to a sitting politician has their supporters swamp the other party's primary, thus "stealing" the election from the rightful party faithful who may have been geared towards the incumbent. these accusations come about all the time.

maybe murkowski didn't see Miller's Tea Party supporters as legitimate GOP primary voters, or maybe she was just sore at Sarah Palin. regardless, she didn't "steal" the election by running as an independent. that's a pretty serious charge for someone who didn't break any laws.

maybe the sour grapes is on the miller side, now?