Report: 98% of write-in ballots counted thus far are for Murkowski

posted at 5:06 pm on November 10, 2010 by Allahpundit

Only an anecdotal report (from a Democrat, no less), but if that rate holds true, it’d mean almost 2,000 votes knocked off her presumptive lead. Not an insignificant amount.

Here’s the important part, though:

Chip Thoma, observing for the Alaska Democratic Party, tells me that around 98 percent of the write-in ballots cast appear to be for Lisa Murkowski. Roughly 10 percent of those are being challenged by the Miller campaign on spelling grounds.

But Thoma said the Division of Elections is overruling 90 percent of those challenges. The Miller campaign than re-challenges. Those ballots will get another review, with the final say going to the certification board (or the courts.)

Thoma said he was struck by the large percentage of write-ins that were perfectly cast for Murkowski, with the oval filled in and her first and last names spelled correctly.

Murky’s presumptive lead at the moment is a little more than 11,000 votes with 90,000 or so write-in ballots to be counted. If (a) she loses a few thousand due to two percent of write-ins being for other candidates and (b) Miller picks up another thousand or two thousand votes from the rest of the absentees that have yet to be counted, then yeah, the election might very well turn on how the courts deal with those 10 percent of write-ins for Murkowski that Miller is challenging. What kind of challenges are we talking about here, you ask? Dude:

“Most of them are minor misspellings,” Thoma said.

He said the misspellings tend to be in the first syllable of Lisa Murkowski’s name. Some people wrote “Mercowski” or “Mircowski.”

The elections director has reportedly already ruled that ballots filled out for “Morcowski” won’t count, a decision being challenged by Team Murky. You’ve all already seen the story posted in Headlines last night, I take it, about Team Miller suing to disqualify each and every ballot that doesn’t have Murkowski’s name spelled absolutely correctly. The statute does seem to point Miller’s way on that, as Patterico explains: The law requires that the name be filled in “as it appears on the write-in declaration of candidacy” and that “there are no exceptions” to that rule. Which means, in theory, that all 10 percent of the ballots Miller’s challenging today are headed down the toilet.

But wait, what about the “voter intent” standard that’s virtually universally applied by courts in cases involving disputed ballots? Funny thing — that’s never been tested in a write-in case in Alaska:

On Friday, Ms. Fenumiai pointed to two previous Alaska cases in which ballots were counted for a candidate when voter intent was clear, even if the ballot wasn’t filled out correctly. Those cases didn’t involve write-in ballots, however…

Election officials have also said they wouldn’t count a vote for “Lisa” or “Lisa M.” in Ms. Murkowski’s favor. When asked to comment on that, Mr. McKeever said, “We have not gotten any indication from the Division of Elections about the standards they’re going to apply, but we expect that they’ll comply with Alaska law.”

Rick Hasen, an election-law expert at Loyola Law School, said states typically interpret election rules so they maximize the chances voter intent is considered. Alaska, in particular, “has generally taken the view that statutes should be liberally construed,” he said.

It’s hard to “liberally construe” a statute that says “no exceptions.” I think you’ll see one of two things happen here if this race really does come down to a stack of ballots marked “Markowski” or “Murkowsky” or whatever. One: The state supreme court could decide that the statute is unconstitutional because the right to vote implies some sort of “voter intent” standard. That’d be an awfully sketchy ruling given that the state constitution says voting standards shall be prescribed by law, but we’ve seen stranger interpretations before and, after all, courts don’t like to see people disenfranchised when everyone knows who they meant to vote for. Two: In theory, the legislature could act here to amend the statute and add a “voter intent” standard to the provision cited by Patterico. I’ll leave it to con law experts to argue whether that would in itself be unconstitutional as an ex post facto law, but the political maneuvering would be fascinating. Democratic legislators might push for it just to put Sean Parnell, the Republican governor, and other GOP legislators on the spot. It’d be awfully hard, I think, to explain to the public — 60 percent of whom didn’t vote for Joe Miller — that a Senate race should turn on whether someone spelled “Murkowski” with an “e” instead of a “u.” Fun times ahead!


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I don’t like her, but if he is seeking to throw out ballot with ‘Merkowski’ and ‘Mirkowski’, then something is definitely wrong. Even a moron knows those are for him. The whole point of the tea party is fighting for thw will of the people, and throwing out those ballots will be extremely counter-productive.

Chudi on November 10, 2010 at 6:22 PM

If she wins, do NOT forget about all the Republican senators who allowed her to keep her seniority and committee position. They helped circumvent the will of the Alaska republicans that put Miller over the top in his primary, and thus should be viewed as part of the problem.

thirteen28 on November 10, 2010 at 5:50 PM

You hear that Mitch McConnell. I’m sure he’s thrilled that his pork happy leiutenant will be by his side once more. That milquetoast RINO needs to go in ’14. I can’t stand looking at him any more.

TxAnn56 on November 10, 2010 at 6:23 PM

Isn’t this a case of having your cake and eating it too?

parke on November 10, 2010 at 5:17 PM

was thinking the same thing….

cmsinaz on November 10, 2010 at 6:23 PM

Upinak voted for her, I’m pretty sure. I don’t think Upinak is a RINO.

Jimbo3 on November 10, 2010 at 6:21 PM

Upinak said she voted for Joe Miller.

portlandon on November 10, 2010 at 6:25 PM

“Linda McMurrey? Meh, close enough.”

-Alaska Division of Elections.

iurockhead on November 10, 2010 at 6:26 PM

Upinak voted for her, I’m pretty sure. I don’t think Upinak is a RINO.

Jimbo3 on November 10, 2010 at 6:21 PM

She don’t vote for RINO traitors.

OmahaConservative on November 10, 2010 at 6:28 PM

If she wins, do NOT forget about all the Republican senators who allowed her to keep her seniority and committee position. They helped circumvent the will of the Alaska republicans that put Miller over the top in his primary, and thus should be viewed as part of the problem.

thirteen28 on November 10, 2010 at 5:50 PM

So you think this should be a Republican seat, rather than a seat elected by the people? Isn’t that like claiming Kennedy’s seat in MA is a Dem seat?

Jimbo3 on November 10, 2010 at 6:28 PM

Have you seen the statute? It says the name must be written as it appears on the write in thingie OR the candidates last name. Just wanted to know if that is any kind of significant ambiguity.

“A vote for a write-in candidate, other than a write-in vote for governor and lieutenant governor, shall be counted if the oval is filled in for that candidate and if the name, as it appears on the write-in declaration of candidacy, of the candidate or the last name of the candidate is written in the space provided.”

SarahW on November 10, 2010 at 6:31 PM

Seven Percent Solution on November 10, 2010 at 6:23 PM

*sigh*

one is at the point to whether laugh or cry

cmsinaz on November 10, 2010 at 6:32 PM

So you think this should be a Republican seat, rather than a seat elected by the people? Isn’t that like claiming Kennedy’s seat in MA is a Dem seat?

Jimbo3 on November 10, 2010 at 6:28 PM

Murkowski lost the Republican party nomination of her job.

Thats like getting fired from your job, yet your boss lets you keep your parking spot, key to the executive washroom, company car, and commission check, while claiming they actually support the “New Guy”.

portlandon on November 10, 2010 at 6:32 PM

BTW, COD is on Leno’s show tonight.

slickwillie2001 on November 10, 2010 at 6:32 PM

Seven Percent Solution on November 10, 2010 at 6:23 PM
*sigh*

one is at the point to whether laugh or cry

cmsinaz on November 10, 2010 at 6:32 PM

oopsie, wrong thread

cmsinaz on November 10, 2010 at 6:32 PM

Have you seen the statute? It says the name must be written as it appears on the write in thingie OR the candidates last name. Just wanted to know if that is any kind of significant ambiguity.

“A vote for a write-in candidate, other than a write-in vote for governor and lieutenant governor, shall be counted if the oval is filled in for that candidate and if the name, as it appears on the write-in declaration of candidacy, of the candidate or the last name of the candidate is written in the space provided.”

SarahW on November 10, 2010 at 6:31 PM

I think it is (and I think crr6 agrees). Allah (and Patterico) don’t. Scroll back in the comments to see the discussion.

Jimbo3 on November 10, 2010 at 6:33 PM

Murkowski lost the Republican party nomination of her job.

Thats like getting fired from your job, yet your boss lets you keep your parking spot, key to the executive washroom, company car, and commission check, while claiming they actually support the “New Guy”.

portlandon on November 10, 2010 at 6:32 PM

The boss in this case is the voters of Alaska, not the Republican party of Alaska.

Jimbo3 on November 10, 2010 at 6:35 PM

The boss in this case is the voters of Alaska, not the Republican party of Alaska.

Jimbo3 on November 10, 2010 at 6:35 PM

Actually, No. You are wrong.

The “Perks” that Murkwoski gets are not from the State of Alaska. They are given to her by the Republican Senate Leadership.

portlandon on November 10, 2010 at 6:38 PM

Jimbo3 on November 10, 2010 at 6:35 PM

Have you finished your internship yet?

OmahaConservative on November 10, 2010 at 6:41 PM

Angus – “all she did was put the decision in the hands of the voters” – you mean the voters who had already decided that they *didn’t* want her?

Only Republicans voted in that primary, and the primary was only to determine who should be the Republican candidate, not who would be Senator. She lost the primary, and therefore was not the Republican candidate. She then ran as an independent. The registered independents and Democrats then had an opportunity to vote in the general election and apparently chose her.

Yes, I would say that is respecting the will of the voters.

AngusMc on November 10, 2010 at 6:49 PM

Actually, No. You are wrong.

The “Perks” that Murkwoski gets are not from the State of Alaska. They are given to her by the Republican Senate Leadership.

portlandon on November 10, 2010 at 6:38 PM

Actually, you are wrong. The committee positions she gets are from the party, but that’s not the same as the election. The voters of the state get to choose who gets to be their Senator.

AngusMc on November 10, 2010 at 6:51 PM

Allah, do have ANY intellectual curiosity at all?

Quoting Chip Thoma in any context is not exactly a winning formula.

Remember, this is the idiot who tried to have Piper Palin’s lemonade stand in front of the Governor’s mansion in Juneau shut down.

Chip, whose big claim to fame was eating the yellow acid at Woodstock, also tried to stop tourists who wanted to come by and see the Governor’s mansion.

In other words, this guy is a loon of the first order, and one shouldn’t believe a thing the guy says. EVER.

From the Australian Daily Telegraph

ARC OF A THOMA

Tim Blair
Sunday, May 10, 2009 at 03:42am

1969. The highlight of Alaska resident Chip Thoma’s life: he is given a security job at Woodstock and spends the entire concert next to the stage.

1970s-80s.
Chip is given several drink-driving tests, which he fails four times over ten years. He spends time in prison following a cocaine conviction.

2009. Chip is given to complaining about a lemonade stand run by Piper Palin, seven-year-old daughter of Alaska’s governor. He spends most days railing against tourists who want to see the governor’s mansion. Click for Sarah Palin’s brilliant reply.

(Via Nicole F.)

Chip is the nimrod on the right:

http://www.juneauempire.com/images/040605/9051_500.jpg

As he appears today:

http://www.earthisland.org/csaw/chip%20%281%29.jpg

You got punked Allah.

gary4205 on November 10, 2010 at 6:54 PM

Actually, you are wrong. The committee positions she gets are from the party, but that’s not the same as the election. The voters of the state get to choose who gets to be their Senator.

AngusMc on November 10, 2010 at 6:51 PM

Actually, you don’t know what you are talking about. You need to go back and read Jimbo3 and I’s conversation. We weren’t discussing the Senate seat. We were discussing the chair and other perks given to Murkowski by the Republican Leadership. Not the people of Alaska.

portlandon on November 10, 2010 at 6:55 PM

If lsai does win it shows that ‘money’ does get it done. I am so sorry for the AK voters who did not want this old bat, but daddy did his thing as did the courts. The bottom line money speaks even if your kid looks like a troll! The other new elected r’s will look at the slug and think, gosh you suck!
L

letget on November 10, 2010 at 6:58 PM

MOO-COW ski sure is UGLY enough to be a democrat.

right4life on November 10, 2010 at 7:06 PM

We are a nation of laws not a nation of men.

mizflame98 on November 10, 2010 at 7:23 PM

So, how many of us believe that this was the plan the whole time? Think about it. She concedes in the middle of the recount during the primaries. She could have rode it out to find out for certain but didn’t. I think someone from her camp told her they would make sure she would win if she concedes and then run as a write in candidate. Personally, if I think you should lose your chance at running as a write in for the same party as your opponent you just conceded to.

mizflame98 on November 10, 2010 at 7:34 PM

Actually, you don’t know what you are talking about. You need to go back and read Jimbo3 and I’s conversation. We weren’t discussing the Senate seat. We were discussing the chair and other perks given to Murkowski by the Republican Leadership. Not the people of Alaska.

portlandon on November 10, 2010 at 6:55 PM

I thought you were talking about pay, keys to restrooms, travel perks, etc. Those would come from her position as Senator, not from the Republican party.

Jimbo3 on November 10, 2010 at 7:35 PM

“Linda McMurrey? Meh, close enough.”

-Alaska Division of Elections.

iurockhead on November 10, 2010 at 6:26 PM

Linda McCartney…we’ll count that one too.
-Alaska Division of Elections.

mizflame98 on November 10, 2010 at 7:36 PM

Linda McCartney…we’ll count that one too.
-Alaska Division of Elections.

mizflame98 on November 10, 2010 at 7:36 PM

Betty White? Sure, we’ll take that as a vote for Lisa!

SouthernGent on November 10, 2010 at 7:40 PM

So who is voting for her . . . Democrats and liberals. If she’s elected RINO will take on a whole new meaning.

rplat on November 10, 2010 at 6:02 PM

Upinak voted for her, I’m pretty sure. I don’t think Upinak is a RINO.

Jimbo3 on November 10, 2010 at 6:21 PM

umm prove I voted for her. Than after you talk to that odie person who accused me of voting for her… talk to me about how I told everyone this was going to happen.

Jesus, you must still be bitter over the WH moritorium spanking you got this afternoon.

upinak on November 10, 2010 at 7:42 PM

Betty White? Sure, we’ll take that as a vote for Lisa!

SouthernGent on November 10, 2010 at 7:40 PM

Alan Grayson?…Looks like a Murkowski vote to me.

mizflame98 on November 10, 2010 at 7:43 PM

Just remember who is the judge of all Senate elections, returns and qualifications. No, it is not Alaska voters, or the Alaska Division of Records, or Alaska’s Supreme Court, or even the United States Supreme Court. Also remember who is still in charge of the Senate.

Prediction – they’ll seat freshly-minted Democrat Liza Murkywaters…er, Lisa Murkowski, who will receive a committee chair or two as “compensation” for flipping in time for the Lame Duck Session from Hell™.

steveegg on November 10, 2010 at 7:50 PM

And not even the Alaska Division of Elections has the final say. Where’s the edit function, dammit?

steveegg on November 10, 2010 at 7:54 PM

“It’d be awfully hard, I think, to explain to the public — 60 percent of whom didn’t vote for Joe Miller — that a Senate race should turn on whether someone spelled “Murkowski” with an “e” instead of a “u.” Fun times ahead!”

Re-write this as

“It’d be awfully hard, I think, to explain to the public — 60 percent of whom didn’t vote for Joe Miller — that a Senate race should turn on whether someone followed the law or not. Fun times ahead!” (emp mine)

Lord Nazh on November 10, 2010 at 7:56 PM

While AP is right that “voter intent” is a worthwhile principle to apply to voting, there is another principle involved here: That of making the voting criteria unambiguous and resistant to bias and inconsistent subjective interpretation. I think the two criteria can be accommodated, but it’s something the legislature should do in writing a new law that both parties agree to and that has been subject to public debate — and all this needs to happen BEFORE the election so both sides know the rules going into the campaign. The election board deciding by itself to change the clear letter of the law AFTER the election, and the courts rubber-stamping their bureaucratic navel-gazing after the fact, makes a mockery of the state legislature’s Constitutionally-assigned duty to oversee elections.

Socratease on November 10, 2010 at 8:04 PM

What a mess. I’m surprised so many people were that desperate to have LM represent them in the Senate, as opposed to generic republican.

Count to 10 on November 10, 2010 at 8:06 PM

The state supreme court could decide that the statute is unconstitutional because the right to vote implies some sort of “voter intent” standard.

Which is nonsense. Their right to vote wasn’t infringed upon. If you cast your vote incorrectly, via misspelling, pressing the wrong button, or whatever, that’s on you. No one kept you from voting.

xblade on November 10, 2010 at 8:16 PM

I think my impression of Alaskans was mistaken, if they really support Murkowski enough to send her to DC instead of Miller. And I don’t think the quality of his campaign is the major factor. Alaskans simply prefer Murky in there for whatever reason: They hate Palin, addicted to pork, vote familiarity…etc.

Does it reflect poorly on Palin? Well, look at the lengths Murkowski had to go to win this(which it looks like she will). She lost the primary, had to go write-in, taking RINOS, loyalists, and probably a huge amount of Dems who knew their candidate didn’t have a chance.

Anyway, Alaska think Murkowski represents them. Wow. That’s sad. But hey, I’m from Maryland. We suck too.

Dongemaharu on November 10, 2010 at 8:22 PM

What a mess. I’m surprised so many people were that desperate to have LM represent them in the Senate, as opposed to generic republican.

Count to 10 on November 10, 2010 at 8:06 PM

A good number of democrats, knowing “generic democrat” couldn’t win, decided to cross over and vote for Daddy’s Girl to stop Miller.

This was predictable, and why Moocowski ran in the first place.

gary4205 on November 10, 2010 at 8:23 PM

You got punked Allah.

gary4205 on November 10, 2010 at 6:54 PM

Good work. Thanks.

rrpjr on November 10, 2010 at 8:23 PM

There was one official Republican candidate, one Dem candidate and one Republican who was not the official Republican candidate.

Jimbo3 on November 10, 2010 at 6:08 PM

Was your intention to make some sort of distinction here? You initially said it was great news that Murk might win “unless, of course, you want elections to be the exclusive property of the two major parties.”

Everybody in the running in this race is in one of the two major parties.

Missy on November 10, 2010 at 8:26 PM

umm prove I voted for her. Than after you talk to that odie person who accused me of voting for her… talk to me about how I told everyone this was going to happen.

Jesus, you must still be bitter over the WH moritorium spanking you got this afternoon.

upinak on November 10, 2010 at 7:42 PM

Not bitter at all (and I don’t think much of a spanking). Weren’t you saying about 6 weeks ago how you thought people in Alaska were going to elect her and didn’t care what the rest of the US thought? I took that to mean that you were probably going to vote for her.

Jimbo3 on November 10, 2010 at 8:35 PM

There was one official Republican candidate, one Dem candidate and one Republican who was not the official Republican candidate.

Jimbo3 on November 10, 2010 at 6:08 PM
Was your intention to make some sort of distinction here?

You initially said it was great news that Murk might win “unless, of course, you want elections to be the exclusive property of the two major parties.”

Everybody in the running in this race is in one of the two major parties.

Missy on November 10, 2010 at 8:26 PM

Not as the official, party-supported candidate.

Jimbo3 on November 10, 2010 at 8:36 PM

Not bitter at all (and I don’t think much of a spanking). Weren’t you saying about 6 weeks ago how you thought people in Alaska were going to elect her and didn’t care what the rest of the US thought? I took that to mean that you were probably going to vote for her.

Jimbo3 on November 10, 2010 at 8:35 PM

Jiombo… you better go back and read some more of my comments as I have said OVER AND OVER that I voted for Joe in an absentee ballot as I didn’t want a liberal in the damn seat… Alaska already HAS a liberal in a Serante seat.

But yes, I did say that this was going to be a nasty election. Was I WRONG? Nope. Interesting isn’t it. Does this bother you????

upinak on November 10, 2010 at 8:39 PM

Good work. Thanks.

rrpjr on November 10, 2010 at 8:23 PM

Your welcome.

As soon as I saw that name I couldn’t stop laughing. Myself and others wrote a LOT about Chip last year. He is certifiable!

If you Bing the guy, you’ll find even more fun stuff.

gary4205 on November 10, 2010 at 8:53 PM

Not bitter at all (and I don’t think much of a spanking). Weren’t you saying about 6 weeks ago how you thought people in Alaska were going to elect her and didn’t care what the rest of the US thought? I took that to mean that you were probably going to vote for her.

Jimbo3 on November 10, 2010 at 8:35 PM

Jiombo… you better go back and read some more of my comments as I have said OVER AND OVER that I voted for Joe in an absentee ballot as I didn’t want a liberal in the damn seat… Alaska already HAS a liberal in a Serante seat.

But yes, I did say that this was going to be a nasty election. Was I WRONG? Nope. Interesting isn’t it. Does this bother you????

upinak on November 10, 2010 at 8:39 PM

Yup!

Jimbo, once again you are wrong.

Upinak says she voted for Joe and I believe her. I don’t often agree with her, but I don’t think she would lie either.

This is a freakin’ mess because Murky, like all RINOs is useless. This is why they gotta all go.

gary4205 on November 10, 2010 at 8:57 PM

gary4205 on November 10, 2010 at 8:57 PM

Well wasn’t Palin’s lawyer going to handle this problem?..:)

Dire Straits on November 10, 2010 at 9:01 PM

(and I don’t think much of a spanking).

Jimbo3 on November 10, 2010 at 8:35 PM

heh

CWforFreedom on November 10, 2010 at 9:06 PM

Write In – Jo Miller

Alaska Judge: Hmm you know I think this voter meant Joanne Miller. And I know that Lisa has a cousin named Joanne, which means that the voter really intended to vote for Lisa.

Lisa + 1

Next ballot….

angryed on November 10, 2010 at 9:08 PM

For those who think Murkowski should have been stripped of her seniority, such a move would also have set an ugly precedent establishing that in the eyes of the Republican leadership, a Senator running a legal campaign is worse than a Senator getting caught in a sex scandal that is both embarrassing and illegal (google “David Vitter diaper” if you dare.)

Mister Mets on November 10, 2010 at 9:12 PM

Considering everything I’ve read from upinak, I can only conclude that AKn’s are a codgerly contrary lot and a) don’t like being told what to do by outsiders and b) are somewhat likely just to split their tickets on principle alone. A vote for Murk was a vote against Outside.

alwaysfiredup on November 10, 2010 at 9:21 PM

So how many of these ballots that were write-in’s for “THE B*TCH” count in Murky Murk’s favor?

pilamaye on November 10, 2010 at 9:33 PM

It’d be awfully hard, I think, to explain to the public — 60 percent of whom didn’t vote for Joe Miller — that a Senate race should turn on whether someone spelled “Murkowski” with an “e” instead of a “u.

I’ll tell them.
“Deer Mourquskee voturz. Ewe haff tu lurn tu spel iff yoo wand too vot wryt-inn inn Alasqua.”

Ronnie on November 10, 2010 at 9:47 PM

I remember a caller from Alaska calling into either Rush or

Levin and stating that Murkowski had a rather large campaign gathering just prior to the election and handed out bracelets with her name spelled on them. The caller said he thought that was illegal since it was just days before the election. I wonder if that explains the perfect spelling?

KickandSwimMom on November 10, 2010 at 5:26 PM

So…buttons with candidates’ names on them in the polling place: not OK.
Bracelets with candidates’ names on them in the polling place: fine and dandy.

James on November 10, 2010 at 9:48 PM

Not as the official, party-supported candidate.

Jimbo3 on November 10, 2010 at 8:36 PM

Doesn’t matter. There are still no other parties represented except the two majors. The winner will not enter Congress as anything but a Republican or a Democrat. Therefore this election is still “the exclusive property of the two major parties” and your point is invalid.

Missy on November 10, 2010 at 10:23 PM

Jiombo… you better go back and read some more of my comments as I have said OVER AND OVER that I voted for Joe in an absentee ballot as I didn’t want a liberal in the damn seat… Alaska already HAS a liberal in a Serante seat.

But yes, I did say that this was going to be a nasty election. Was I WRONG? Nope. Interesting isn’t it. Does this bother you????

upinak on November 10, 2010 at 8:39 PM

Sorry. Been tied up at work and haven’t been here for the last few weeks.

Jimbo3 on November 10, 2010 at 10:23 PM

Doesn’t matter. There are still no other parties represented except the two majors. The winner will not enter Congress as anything but a Republican or a Democrat. Therefore this election is still “the exclusive property of the two major parties” and your point is invalid.

Missy on November 10, 2010 at 10:23 PM

Gotta disagree in part. If it was the exclusive property of the two parties, then only officially nominated candidates of those parties would have been running. Your point that she’s still a GOP is a good one, though.

Jimbo3 on November 10, 2010 at 10:25 PM

If it was the exclusive property of the two parties, then only officially nominated candidates of those parties would have been running.

I see what you’re saying now. Okay. But the GOP hasn’t stripped her of anything, so pretty much they win with either Miller (official nominee) or Murkowski (incumbent with seniority).

Missy on November 10, 2010 at 10:28 PM

I don’t like her, but if he is seeking to throw out ballot with ‘Merkowski’ and ‘Mirkowski’, then something is definitely wrong. Even a moron knows those are for him. The whole point of the tea party is fighting for thw will of the people, and throwing out those ballots will be extremely counter-productive.

Chudi on November 10, 2010 at 6:22 PM

Reminds me of the Birthers

V-rod on November 10, 2010 at 11:46 PM

One point which should also be considered before accepting any write-in votes which fail to meet the letter of the law is that Alaska is one of the states covered by the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Any change in its election laws, regulations, or their application must be approved by the Justice Department BEFORE they can be used in an election.

Adjoran on November 10, 2010 at 11:49 PM

I don’t like write-in ballots. They give too much opportunity for opposing parties or just mischief makers to exploit divides within a party that has already had a primary. I suspect that there were a lot of Democrats voting for Murkowski just to spite Palin.

flataffect on November 11, 2010 at 1:42 AM

One point which should also be considered before accepting any write-in votes which fail to meet the letter of the law is that Alaska is one of the states covered by the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Any change in its election laws, regulations, or their application must be approved by the Justice Department BEFORE they can be used in an election.

Adjoran on November 10, 2010 at 11:49 PM

I will say that it would take a lot of guts and tone deafness for Miller’s campaign to make this argument. Inuit usually speak English as a second language and would be among those voters with the most problems spelling Murkowski. Given that the intent of listing Alaska was specifically to protect Inuit voting, using the Voting Rights Act to disqualify probable Inuit votes would be creative and unusual.

AngusMc on November 11, 2010 at 2:43 AM

There’s something about that picture that reminds me of Nurse Ratched.

crosspatch on November 11, 2010 at 3:05 AM

Have you seen the statute? It says the name must be written as it appears on the write in thingie OR the candidates last name. Just wanted to know if that is any kind of significant ambiguity.

Here is what I wrote about that on my site:

Close examination of the relevant Alaska statute reveals a possible (but i think ultimately unpersuasive) counter to the Miller camp’s argument. This is very technical — but courts are often technical in matters of interpretation. The relevant passage reads as follows:

(11) A vote for a write-in candidate, other than a write-in vote for governor and lieutenant governor, shall be counted if the oval is filled in for that candidate and if the name, as it appears on the write-in declaration of candidacy, of the candidate or the last name of the candidate is written in the space provided.

Now: Miller argues that the phrase “as it appears on the write-in declaration of candidacy” modifies the phrase “the name … of the candidate or the last name of the candidate.” I agree that is the most natural reading. However, Murky could argue that it modifies only the phrase “the name … of the candidate.” Meaning there is leeway for the last name only to be misspelled if it appears by itself on the ballot.

I think this argument is a stretch. I think it is quite natural to read the phrase as modifying both phrases “the name … of the candidate” and “the last name of the candidate.” Moreover, I can’t see why the legislature would give more leeway to misspell the last name when it appears alone; adding the first name gives even more clarity and certainty, so why allow a misspelling only when the last name appears in isolation? I think that is another reason Miller’s reading is more natural.

Patterico on November 11, 2010 at 3:30 AM

I don’t like her, but if he is seeking to throw out ballot with ‘Merkowski’ and ‘Mirkowski’, then something is definitely wrong. Even a moron knows those are for him. The whole point of the tea party is fighting for thw will of the people, and throwing out those ballots will be extremely counter-productive.

Chudi on November 10, 2010 at 6:22 PM

And what happens if there was a write in candidate named L. Merkowske? Or Mirkowskit?
That is why it has to be explicit…because there are others who may be writing in someone else…would micky mouskie be close enough for you?

right2bright on November 11, 2010 at 7:33 AM

Interesting thought, defining “the intent of the voter”. As the Write-In law is liberally constructed about “no exceptions”, what happens when a person is so feed up that they write in “Anyone with an (R) after their name”. I am sure it would be thrown out because the narrow focus of liberal voters can not recognize the plane facts.

However, the voter is in a hurry to get back to work before their liberal employer (who does not like Conservative or Republican) fires them. So the write in instructions are very clear the voter is telling the ballot counters the mark all of the canidates who are (R) Republican.

MSGTAS on November 11, 2010 at 7:59 AM

What about the business of posting the write in candidates names at the polling sites per the Mur/Mer/Mircowski campaign, even though that appeared to violate the voting law? It would seem to me that if you got the correct spelling available to you at the voting site, that there is no justification for not getting the name right.

Isn’t this a case of having your cake and eating it too?

parke on November 10, 2010 at 5:17 PM

I remember in school when a teacher said we could have one(1) sheet of paper with any notes we wanted when taking the final test. The teacher didn’t give PARTIAL CREDIT because we misspelled a word or didn’t apply a conversion factor correctly, after all we had a “cheat sheet” with us.

The “List of Candidates” is the same “cheat sheet”, and if you can’t copy a name correctly when it is right there, you are too incompetent to vote….tough, you get it WRONG, no partial credit!

belad on November 11, 2010 at 8:55 AM

You know what?

I hope Miller fights this, even if he loses. If he can keep McScrotesky out of the lame-duck session, the Senate GOP leadership loses their last excuse why they hadn’t been stripping McScrotesky of all her committee chairmanships.

Sekhmet on November 11, 2010 at 9:11 AM

It looks like Lisa will pull off the win. That’s really too bad.

AnninCA on November 11, 2010 at 9:14 AM

The “List of Candidates” is the same “cheat sheet”, and if you can’t copy a name correctly when it is right there, you are too incompetent to vote….tough, you get it WRONG, no partial credit!

belad on November 11, 2010 at 8:55 AM

You could see the power structure. She won the rewrite of the Alaskan law on spelling requirements. Then she won the argument that handed voters a list. She even won the right to let people wear armbandes with her name on it. Bet other paraphanalia wasn’t allowed.

Lots of judges in that one’s pocket.

AnninCA on November 11, 2010 at 9:16 AM

I like that our T party darling is fighting to get ballots tossed. Nothing says grassroots populism like having your lawyers challenge ballots that were clearly cast for your opponent. Also we should handle this thing delicately, thanks to COD, Angle, McMahon, Fiorina’s losses we won’t have the majority in the senate. If we strip her of her seniority she may decide to put a D next to her name and get a whole lot more seniority by being part of the majority. I was really hoping Miller would put her out of her misery and she would split the D vote like florida but that didn’t happen. We just have to suck it up and deal.

snoopicus on November 11, 2010 at 9:22 AM

the Senate GOP leadership loses their last excuse why they hadn’t been stripping McScrotesky of all her committee chairmanships.

Sekhmet on November 11, 2010 at 9:11 AM

These clowns in the senate,McConnell & Co., had better watch their collective asses. The silent majority is awake and they aren’t in a mood to be trifled with, they also have LONG memories. If the boyz with Rs in the senate fool around they are going to be primaried when they come up for re-election and will end up on the outside looking in.

belad on November 11, 2010 at 9:29 AM

the boyz with Rs in the senate fool around they are going to be primaried when they come up for re-election and will end up on the outside looking in.

belad on November 11, 2010 at 9:29 AM

Lets just hope it goes better next time around or there will be a bunch of Ds take their places, like what happened this time. 35 true believers will have absolutely no power against 65 Ds.

snoopicus on November 11, 2010 at 9:35 AM

People who are too f*cking stupid to know how to spell the name of the person they want to write in a vote for can go f*ck themselves.

Dave Rywall on November 11, 2010 at 9:56 AM

I don’t like her, but if he is seeking to throw out ballot with ‘Merkowski’ and ‘Mirkowski’, then something is definitely wrong. Even a moron knows those are for him. The whole point of the tea party is fighting for thw will of the people, and throwing out those ballots will be extremely counter-productive.

Chudi on November 10, 2010 at 6:22 PM

Yes but she can’t get away with the “Muck Furkowski” ballots, that’s for sure.

LevStrauss on November 11, 2010 at 11:34 AM

Wait a second, did she not win the right in court to have her name listed at each polling place? Correct me if I am wrong on this. But if people wanted to make sure that they voted for her they could have looked it up or writen it down on a piece of paper and used it as a cheet sheet.

As for intent, tell it to the kid that loses the spelling bee if they should have won after mis-spelling a word. After all the intent to get it right was there was it not? So what if the rules say it has to be an exact spelling.

mechkiller_k on November 11, 2010 at 12:30 PM

Examples of ballots that Miller is challenging, with photographs. Miller is sinking to new lows every day.

http://community.adn.com/adn/node/154279

AngusMc on November 11, 2010 at 4:42 PM

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