Alaskan Senate candidate has sued in Federal court to force Alaskan election officials to follow the law on exact spelling for write-in candidates.
Who knows what can happen in Federal Court, but if Alaskan Senate candidate gets relief in this matter, he probably wins the Senate Seat.
JUNEAU — GOP nominee Joe Miller is asking a federal judge to keep the state from using discretion in counting write-in ballots in Alaska’s hotly contested Senate race.
The suit was filed today, the day before election officials planned to begin counting write-in ballots.
Miller’s rival, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, waged a write-in campaign after losing the primary to Miller. Write-ins lead Miller in initial vote totals but it’s not clear how many of those are for Murkowski.
Miller’s campaign argues the state should be held to the law, which states a ballot oval must be filled in and either the candidate’s last name or name as it appears on a declaration of candidacy written in. The state has said it will use discretion when it comes to misspellings or variations of Murkowski’s name, with officials pointing to case law as their basis for this.
Under existing state law, for a write-in vote to be valid, the name written on the ballot must match the name as it is listed on the write-in candidate’s declaration of candidacy. This means voters must write “Lisa Murkowski” or “Murkowski” for the vote to be counted. However the Alaska Division of Elections has seemingly taken the law into their own hands by indicating it would determine the voter’s intent “on a case-by-case basis.”
This is just breaking so it is too early to see the full arguments and prognosticate on the suits chances, but stay tuned.