Alaska Senate Race May Come Down to Spelling
Alaska Senate Race results could be delayed by legal action for an indefinite period of time. Huma Khan of ABC News reported Wednesday that Republican Senate candidate Joe Miller had filed a lawsuit Tuesday night to block write-in ballots with misspelled or incomplete names.
Write-in candidates received 92,500 votes, which include incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski. The number translates to 40.2 percent of the vote to Miller's 35.3 percent.
Alaska's Division of Elections has been counting votes as long as they could determine "voter intent" whether there are misspellings or not.
Sarah Palin-backed Miller has argued against counting names that are misspelled or written incorrectly, and claimed in the lawsuit that the elections division unconstitutionally overrode legislative standards, ABC News reported.
"It is our view that the state improperly deviated from the text of the statute, and is substituting a subjective 'voter intent' standard and essentially repealing the legislative objective standard sub silentio," said Thomas Van Flein, Miller's attorney.
The review of write-in ballots in Alaska's U.S. Senate race went slowly Wednesday but the results looked promising for incumbent Lisa Murkowski.
The state Division of Elections said it had gone through nearly 20 percent of the precincts and more than 80 percent of the write-in ballots were unchallenged for Murkowski, a Republican forced to run an independent write-in campaign after Tea Party-backed Joe Miller upset her in the primary, the Anchorage Daily News reported.
The newspaper said another 8.5 percent of the ballots were challenged by the Miller campaign but Division of Elections Director Gail Fenumiai ruled they should be counted for Murkowski.
Miller supporters were successful in challenging only 1.44 percent of the 19,203 ballots counted thus far.
"So far things look really good for us," Murkowski campaign manager Kevin Sweeney said.