Alaska write-in fun: Is this ballot ambiguous?

posted at 6:04 pm on November 11, 2010 by Allahpundit

Have a look at some of the “questionable ballots” being flagged by Joe Miller’s team. The one I posted in the thumbnail on the front page is being challenged, I think, because the “r” in “Murkowski” looks vaguely like a “v”. That’s what it’s come to here.

If you’re wondering why Team Miller is forced to resort to frivolous challenges like these, it’s simple math. Murky evidently did a bang-up job of instructing her supporters on how to spell her name, to the point where just 1.5 percent of the write-ins thus far have been tossed out due to successful challenges. Miller’s problem, of course, is that he needs something on the order of 11,000 ballots disqualified in order to win, so he’s going to make sure to challenge that many and preserve them for scrutiny by the courts even if a bunch are pretty obviously valid. Nate Silver elaborates:

However many ballots Mr. Miller elects to challenge — and he could challenge every single ballot if he wanted to — only a certain fixed number of these challenges will have any realistic chance of being upheld. The fact that, on the first day of ballot counting, Mr. Miller’s campaign was already indulging in what seems to have been quite a number of frivolous challenges, and despite this, was still not able to challenge ballots at a rate consistent with what would eventually be required to deny Ms. Murkowski re-election, speaks quite poorly to his chances.

During the next several days of ballot counting, I would expect the fraction of ballots challenged by Mr. Miller’s campaign to increase: enough to put him beyond the 11.6 percent threshold that I described earlier, so that he could make some nominal claim that the outcome of the election was disputed. As a direct corollary of this, I would expect the average quality of Mr. Miller’s chances to decrease.

In other words, he’s already grasping at straws and we’re only on day two of the five-day count. Could be that somehow all the really dumb Murkowski voters are still in the pile waiting to be counted, but there’s no obvious reason I can think of why the error rate would dramatically increase later in the count. If there’s any consolation in the grim prognosis, though, it’s that it looks like we won’t end up with a nightmarish clusterfark where the Alaska Supreme Court has to decide the election by ruling on “voter intent” for ballots that read “Lisa Murcoski (sorry if I misspelled)”. We can’t cheer the outcome, but we can cheer clarity.

If you’re still holding out hope, Patterico has a spirited defense today of Miller’s “precise spelling” standard under Alaska law. He dismisses constitutional arguments against that by noting that there’s no explicit right to vote granted in the Constitution and that Article I, section IV grants states the right to determine the “time, place, and manner” of elections. True enough, but Article I, section II and the Seventeenth Amendment each imply a right to vote by specifying that representatives and senators must be elected “by the people,” and the Warren Court’s decision in Harper v. Virginia Board of Elections sure does seem to suggest that voting is a “fundamental right” protected by the Due Process Clause. It’d be a stretch, but not an unimaginable one, for some state or federal court to decide that disregarding voter intent amounts to a violation of due process by extension. But as I say, given how things are going for Murkowski, we’re probably not going to have an occasion to find out.


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You are looking at some ballots cherry-picked by the Anchorage Daily News. Then you quote something from Nate Silver of The New York Times.

Sorry, but the Alaska Senate election will be decided through the proper legal channels–and not by the damn media.

If the media was in charge, we’d have had two terms of President Gore.

Al Franken aggressively challenged ballots in Minnesota in 2008, even when it looked like he was deliberately trying to fabricate a victory, and today Al’s a United States Senator!

Emperor Norton on November 11, 2010 at 7:13 PM

She respected them just fine–she’s not running as a Republican. Tancredo didn’t “respect” the primary voters either, but that doesn’t mean it’s unfair.

jonknee on November 11, 2010 at 6:31 PM

I’m looking back at the Colorado republican Gubernatorial results and I fail to see Tancredo on the ballot. Funny that.

clement on November 11, 2010 at 7:14 PM

This is wrong because what Lieberman has done is cheat and pervert the established electoral process in Connecticut. Lieberman has cut a deal with the devil to keep his Senate seat. He has taken the Democrats who lost to the Democrats who voted for Lamont, he has taken the Republicans who also lost to the Democrats who lost to Lamont and he has taken the corrupt federal contractors who will get your and my money when she pays them back with more Federal contracts. He has taken the losers and has combined them to oust the winner and that is so evil and corrupt and disgusting that he has delivered a blow to Democracy by doing this. Lieberman might win and it looks like he will but, he has nothing to be proud of by the way he has done it.

CCRWM on November 11, 2010 at 7:09 PM

Proud Rino on November 11, 2010 at 7:14 PM

I’m looking back at the Colorado republican Gubernatorial results and I fail to see Tancredo on the ballot. Funny that.

clement on November 11, 2010 at 7:14 PM

That should read the primary Colorado republican Gubernatorial.

clement on November 11, 2010 at 7:17 PM

Two words:

Hanging Chad

It’s a shame that this is what our elections have come to, but let’s face it. Since the FL 2000 clusterfark where Gore and his “team” challenged and challenged again what were shown to be totally legitimate ballots, and even after all was said and done even the New York Times was forced to admit the truth that Bush did get more votes in Florida; the rabid left STILL claims that the FL 2000 election was “stolen”.

This is where we are at, and this is where we will stay until some simple, verifiable and common sense reforms to our voting system can be enacted.

Until then, write in rules (all election rules actually) should be followed to the EXACT letter of the law, AND ESPECIALLY when said write-in campaign is the result of sour grapes from a legitimate primary. Likewise, until we see mandatory photo ID at polls, every single absentee and provisional ballot should be checked and checked again for validity. (Personally, I think that absentees ballots should be MUCH harder to get).

It’s unfortunate, I really, really hate it, but this is what Gore and his minions in FL wrought (and Franken made commonplace).

Keep on keeping on Mr. Miller.

Jason Coleman on November 11, 2010 at 7:28 PM

The USPS Postal system or OCR software would split it near 50/50 for a V or an R. I would have to say yes.It’s valid.

Egfrow on November 11, 2010 at 7:33 PM

The one I posted in the thumbnail on the front page is being challenged, I think, because the “r” in “Murkowski” looks vaguely like a “v”. That’s what it’s come to here.

As a child I once got 99% on a spelling test instead of 100% because of a junk ruling like that (a ‘h’ that looked like a ‘w’) and boy was I mad!

aengus on November 11, 2010 at 7:34 PM

Give it up, don’t beg, don’t whine, you lost Miller…sorry you did, but you lost. Don’t disrespect our voter system…you lost, you lost, you lost.

right2bright on November 11, 2010 at 6:18 PM

Yeah so stop whining ! Cause whiners never win— oh wait !

cableguy615 on November 11, 2010 at 7:34 PM

This is just nonsense now. Miller should let it go.

Chudi on November 11, 2010 at 6:37 PM

I said that about “Veruca Salt” Murky, until I realized ,political rule of thumb; Liberals …whether R or D , never have to let anything go !

cableguy615 on November 11, 2010 at 7:38 PM

The USPS Postal system or OCR software would split it near 50/50 for a V or an R. I would have to say yes.It’s valid.

Egfrow on November 11, 2010 at 7:33 PM

Well if OCR is anything like the last time I played around with it I would say that is clearly a #

clement on November 11, 2010 at 7:38 PM

Proud Rino on November 11, 2010 at 7:14 PM

Hmmm hear again.

CWforFreedom on November 11, 2010 at 7:45 PM

Moo cowski, as James Joyce put. it.

(Portrait of a Sore Loser as a Middled-Aged Beyatch.)

profitsbeard on November 11, 2010 at 7:46 PM

Ice Road Truckers, Sarah Palin, The Deadliest Catch, polar bears, the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, caribou migrations, the Iditarod, 100 below zero, giant mountains, huge glaciers – even frickin’ wolves, for Pete’s sake – and now you jump the shark by voting in Murkowski. Way to go, 49.

Knott Buyinit on November 11, 2010 at 7:46 PM

He either wins or not..insisting the state obey its own laws is great. Nit picking is so very….democrat.

JIMV on November 11, 2010 at 8:15 PM

As long as the law is followed, whoever gets the most valid votes should win the seat. I’d prefer that be Mr. Miller. While he seems to be a little more volatile than I’d like, he fairly won the primary and Ms. Murkowski should have accepted that and waited 2 years to challenge Democrat Mark Begich for the other senate seat instead of costing the GOP extra money and prolonging a nasty intra-party fight. She didn’t and now we’re stuck with her probably winning as an independent. That means that she’ll be able to pick and choose what votes she wants to support the GOP on. She’s now not reliant on the GOP for election support. That sets a very bad precedent for primary losers in other places. Like Lieberman, she’s likely to win because the voters of the opposing part essentially abandoned their own party’s nominee to support the independent.

Jill1066 on November 11, 2010 at 8:37 PM

This ballot reads: “Lisa Mercoski – sorry if I miss spelled”

And that’s the problem.

Considering the list of “write-in” candidates was provided at the polling place, with the EXACT correct spelling, in the EXACT correct format.

So did this person intentionally miss-spell the name, along with the snarky comment?

It’s hard to conclude, knowing the facts, that this was anything other than an intentionally miss-spelling.

The ballot should be rejected.

DSchoen on November 11, 2010 at 8:39 PM

Wish he would have won. But he didn’t. When you loose you step up, put your best foot forward, thank your supporters and then concede.

watson007 on November 11, 2010 at 8:39 PM

Why do people keep saying “challenge Begich in 2012?” Begich was elected in 2008.

AngusMc on November 11, 2010 at 8:51 PM

Man Up Joe Miller!! Concede.

ButterflyDragon on November 11, 2010 at 6:07 PM

not only did Miller lose, he has lost any chance of running again

Doctor Zhivago on November 11, 2010 at 6:08 PM

It’s Over, Joe.

portlandon on November 11, 2010 at 6:08 PM

This thread, starting with these first three posts, remind m me of the “passive parent” whose child is throwing an ear-ddrum piercing temper tantrum in a crowded store, eventually giving in and telling her ” Oh I am so sorry, sweety ! Daddy is so sorry for being so mean! It’s OK dear you can have the candy, in fact take as many as you want OK ?

*scoff* , oh well…

cableguy615 on November 11, 2010 at 9:06 PM

Let it play out. If Miller loses after the ballots have all been counted in accordance with the law, then it’s time to concede.

This looks like a questionable ballot to challenge, but we’re hearing it through the media, which not only has the usual liberal media bias and dislike of Palin, but has long held the opinion that laws don’t apply compared to the subjective “voter intent” method.

tom on November 11, 2010 at 9:13 PM

If Murkowski wins, which seems likely at this stage, then we can attribute her win to the relatively high % of Dems that were willing to cross over and vote for her. We escaped a similar scenario in Florida with respect to Crist and Rubio, thanks to Kendrick Meek.

This makes me wonder: why are Dems so desperate to stop genuinely conservative candidates from ever making it to DC? They are willing to jettison their own candidates in favor of self-serving career politicians like Crist and Murkowski if that will stop the likes of Rubio and Miller.

I believe they realize that a diluted GOP majority populated by RINOs are feckless and possibly detrimental to conservatism in the long run than even a strong conservative GOP minority.

TheRightMan on November 11, 2010 at 9:15 PM

the closer to the end the nastier this is becoming.

Heads exploding is next?

upinak on November 11, 2010 at 9:18 PM

I think, because the “r” in “Murkowski” looks vaguely like a “v”. That’s what it’s come to here.

Miller has managed to get me to root for Murkowski… and hope that he never runs for office again.

This is ridiculous.

mankai on November 11, 2010 at 9:22 PM

Looks like these are being flagged as questionable, with the decision to be rendered by a judge, not just accused of being fraudulent.

Still early, gonna be a long ugly process. I don’t want Miller to win if he actually lost, but let’s not blame him for playing the only game he can play right now. It was Murky who forced a long, slow hand count that has to look at challenged ballots, handwriting, and spelling. Let her bear the blame for the ugliness and length of the process. At the end of the day, if she wins fairly, fine. When it’s over, Miller will either win or concede.

tom on November 11, 2010 at 9:23 PM

GarandFan on November 11, 2010 at 6:28 PM

Ya Donna “bend over” Frye

Frye ran for mayor of San Diego in November 2004 as a write-in candidate, and a plurality of voters wrote in her name. A controversy arose when she lost the election because a number of voters did not fill in the bubble next to her written name or misspelled her name (usually spelling her last name “Fry”). If those votes had counted, Frye would have won the mayorship.

Note: there was a whole lotta Union corruption with her candidacy.
She lost big time in a runoff.

DSchoen on November 11, 2010 at 9:28 PM

She lost the republican primary. Her name should not have been on the ballot in the first place. She should have stepped aside gracefully and supported the winning candidate. What she did manage to do was to give the democrat party in Alaska another candidate to choose… and boy did they. If I were Joe Miller I would fight to the bitter end with this thing. Contact Al Franken and get some ideas as to where to find the bags of “found” ballots… Fight on Joe!

shar61 on November 11, 2010 at 9:31 PM

Miller has managed to get me to root for Murkowski… and hope that he never runs for office again.

This is ridiculous.

mankai on November 11, 2010 at 9:22 PM

No, you are ridiculous. She lost the primary.

shar61 on November 11, 2010 at 9:33 PM

Am I the only one to think that so many write-in perfect ballots ia tad suspicious?

promachus on November 11, 2010 at 6:31 PM

No, you’re not. It’s clear that Lisa Murkowski’s political machine pulled out all the stops to make a write-in candidacy viable, when those normally wind up with just a minuscule percentage. Given that she wanted power so badly, I think it’s an open question whether she was willing to rely on her political machine, or whether she tried to “help” the process along in ways illegal or unethical.

Just based on what we’re seeing right now, it looks like she’ll get away with it. But voter fraud, if committed and caught, could easily cost her a couple thousand votes and the election.

Miller shouldn’t concede until the fat lady sings. It’s gonna be a while yet.

tom on November 11, 2010 at 9:34 PM

mankai on November 11, 2010 at 9:22 PM

No, you are ridiculous. She lost the primary.

shar61 on November 11, 2010 at 9:33 PM

I am assuming, then, that you are pissed at Joe Lieberman?

Alaska law allowed Murkowski and Crist to do what they have done. The people of AK are thus allowed to vote for her. Please point out what’s ridiculous about following state law?

mankai on November 11, 2010 at 9:37 PM

In a 1978 case, the Supreme Court of Alaska held it was proper to count ballots cast by challenged voters who voted using punch card ballots, despite the fact that the relevant Alaska statute required challenged voters to vote using a “paper ballot.” The court relied upon a particularly strong form of the Democracy Canon in reaching this result: “Courts are reluctant to permit a wholesale disfranchisement of qualified electors through no fault of their own, and ‘[w]here any reasonable construction of the statute can be found which will avoid such a result, the courts should and will favor it.”
“The right of the citizen to cast his ballot and thus participate in the selection of those who control his government is one of the fundamental prerogatives of citizenship and should not be impaired or destroyed by strained statutory constructions. If in the interests of the purity of the ballot the vote of one not morally at fault is to be declared invalid, the Legislature must say so in clear and unmistakable terms.”

Link.
Looks like Miller will get canons of statutory-construction pwned anyway.

crr6 on November 11, 2010 at 9:45 PM

Given that she wanted power so badly, I think it’s an open question whether she was willing to rely on her political machine, or whether she tried to “help” the process along in ways illegal or unethical.

tom on November 11, 2010 at 9:34 PM

I’m curious. Did Murkowski end up using money donated by Republicans, prior to and during her primary campaign, to later run as a write-in Independent? Anyone know the facts, and approximately how much that might amount to if an issue? Is it, or should it be. an issue, or did the original Republican donors not care?

Yoop on November 11, 2010 at 10:03 PM

Can’t blame Huckabee for this loss. I blame the boneheads up in Alaska that can’t find it within themselves to give up all the pork. They are the true definition of the welfare state and I hope the new Sheriff in town stops all this nonsense

tdavisjr on November 11, 2010 at 10:15 PM

I have little respect for anyone who voted for Murkowski. I do respect their right to vote, however, and their right for their vote to be counted. Fight hard but fair Miller. If you fight dirty and win, you’ll outlive it. But if you fight dirty and lose, you’re done.

Immolate on November 11, 2010 at 10:15 PM

I am 100% behind Joe Miller here. He should challenge every last ballot that is even minutely questionable. Murkowski deserves all the grief she may get for her reprehensible campaign and for her unmitigated abuse of Republican voters and Republican Party campaign cash. Joe Miller knows the law and I’m glad to see that he is vigilantly forcing the law to be scrupulously followed.

Edouard on November 11, 2010 at 10:25 PM

“Courts are reluctant to permit a wholesale disfranchisement of qualified electors through no fault of their own, and ‘[w]here any reasonable construction of the statute can be found which will avoid such a result, the courts should and will favor it.”

crr6 on November 11, 2010 at 9:45 PM

Murcowsky sued to have her name (along with all write in’s) printed on a list, with all the EXACT correct spelling and format, handed to voters at the poll.

This, to me, seems unfair, “here’s your ballot and here’s your list with the EXACT correct spelling and format, if you want to vote for Murcowsky”.

I think it’s highly likely a voter could thinks this mean’s they are suppose to vote for Murcowski.

The only way the state could do more to help her is if they printed her name on the ballot. But she lost the primary so they can’t.

If you feel sooooooooooo strongly about a “write in” it behooves you to know how to spell their name!

DSchoen on November 11, 2010 at 10:27 PM

Murcowsky sued to have her name (along with all write in’s) printed on a list, with all the EXACT correct spelling and format, handed to voters at the poll.

This, to me, seems unfair, “here’s your ballot and here’s your list with the EXACT correct spelling and format, if you want to vote for Murcowsky”.

I think it’s highly likely a voter could thinks this mean’s they are suppose to vote for Murcowski.

The only way the state could do more to help her is if they printed her name on the ballot. But she lost the primary so they can’t.

If you feel sooooooooooo strongly about a “write in” it behooves you to know how to spell their name!

DSchoen on November 11, 2010 at 10:27 PM

They should have just stapled it to the ballot and written “See list for Lisa M’s name.”

Jimbo3 on November 11, 2010 at 10:31 PM

Murcowsky sued to have her name (along with all write in’s) printed on a list, with all the EXACT correct spelling and format, handed to voters at the poll.

No, that’s incorrect. It wasn’t just handed to voters at the polls. The voters needed to request the list.

This, to me, seems unfair, “here’s your ballot and here’s your list with the EXACT correct spelling and format, if you want to vote for Murcowsky”.

Maybe that would be unfair, but I don’t really care because that’s not what happened.

I think it’s highly likely a voter could thinks this mean’s they are suppose to vote for Murcowski.

Ok but again, that’s not what happened.

The only way the state could do more to help her is if they printed her name on the ballot. But she lost the primary so they can’t.

If you feel sooooooooooo strongly about a “write in” it behooves you to know how to spell their name!

DSchoen on November 11, 2010 at 10:27 PM

All around great post DSchoen. You were blatantly incorrect in your first sentence, and then you just blathered on based on that false sentence for several more sentences. Terrific.

They should have just stapled it to the ballot and written “See list for Lisa M’s name.”

Jimbo3 on November 11, 2010 at 10:31 PM

crr6 on November 11, 2010 at 10:43 PM

Argh. I didn’t mean to quote Jimbo’s post there at the end.

crr6 on November 11, 2010 at 10:43 PM

Murkey won when she got rules bent in her favor with the cheat sheet. Nice to have people in high places.

WoosterOh on November 12, 2010 at 12:05 AM

Just a thought on the cheat sheet. What you are doing is putting her name last on the voters mind when they walk in the booth. The list was patently unfair. The list may of been a little more fair if it listed all candidates and did not reference write-in.

When you are handed a sheet with the word

Write-In

Lisa Murkowsky
Steve Lamedog

People are going to write in Lisa Murkowski, the person they know and her father. The fix was in.

WoosterOh on November 12, 2010 at 12:10 AM

Just a thought on the cheat sheet. What you are doing is putting her name last on the voters mind when they walk in the booth. The list was patently unfair. The list may of been a little more fair if it listed all candidates and did not reference write-in.

The list was 8 pages long and had 150 names on it, and was only given to people who specifically asked for it. It was hardly putting “her” name on people’s minds unless they were already going there to vote for her in the first place.

AngusMc on November 12, 2010 at 12:27 AM

Just a thought from a Dem point of view. As long as these two clowns are duking it out in Alaska, there’s one fewer Republican senator in Washington. So yeah, keep challenging those ballots, Miller. Sue her and appeal all the way to the SCOTUS. Demand her birth certificate. Drag it out as long as you can.

factoid on November 12, 2010 at 12:36 AM

I live in Alaska and have since before it became a part of the Union.
I’ve heard of people being sent out to the villages to gather people up, transport them in whatever fashion to the polling place and then being assisted in voting for Lisa.
The Native Corporations make mega bucks due to a Native Hire law. Federal Contracts galore and huge profits. Search “Rent an Eskimo” and check out the results.
If a corporation makes money on Federal contracts I believe they are prohibited from donating millions of dollars to support a particular Senator. This was done and is being ignored.
For the first time ever, a list of write in candidates was made available at the polling places. Never before.
For the first time ever votes the are questionable due to spelling etc. will be judged on “voter intent”. This standard has never been applied before in our State. Suddenly, the laws that our Legislators passed, that have been observed in the past write in campaigns, no longer have merit and are struck down by…a Judge. Laws only apply when Judges allow them to be…apparently they can be suspended for the right person.
The leftist scumbag media that we suffer from up here did their level best to destroy Joe in any way possible. The two top dogs at the local CBS affiliate KTVA channel 11 up here were fired after they were recorded conspiring on possible ways to attack Joe, including trying to find some scumbag, a child molester perhaps, amongst his supporters that they could focus on. The rest of the “news” organizations up here are cut of the same cloth. They have a leftist liberal agenda and do their best to advance it.
The daily dead fish wrapper, the ADN or Anchorage Daily News is failing up here big time. The garbage they print on a daily basis is an embarrassment to Alaskans and does not begin to represent the true state of things in any way shape or form. Owned by the McClatchy syndicate they have no regard for what values we as Alaskans hold dear. They are in the business of re-education and elightenment. They see it as their mission to help us poor dumbass Conservatives out of the darkness and in to the light of the governments love… Buncha pussies that want their lives and yours to be provided for and thereby controlled; by the government. No guts. No ambition. Parasites that celebrate parasitism.
For those that could not see this betrayal long ago, it has most certainly been made clear with the marketing of this Marxist Obama to us by these traitorous scum. Ignoring the facts that showed his true nature and actively hiding others. When his hate filled “Church” came to light it vanished and was explained away just as quickly.
The list goes on and on…. Every day a new cover up a new explanation. I’m sick of it. and you?

Army Brat on November 12, 2010 at 12:50 AM

This blog post would not exist if her name was Smith.

YehuditTX on November 12, 2010 at 1:55 AM

I think If “Smith’s” Poppa ran for Senator and then handed his daughter the job and then all the rest of this drama ensued the story would be covered just as it has been.
Are you suggesting some prejudice is involved because she has a Polish? last name?
Really? No kidding?
wow…how desperate you must be…

Army Brat on November 12, 2010 at 4:27 AM

This is beneath us as conservatives.

It is what democrats do.

scotash on November 12, 2010 at 4:52 AM

Can we now throw Alaskan voters in with California and Nevada voters now?

Lisa Murkowski, write in. Sheesh. How lame can you be.

Grace_is_sufficient on November 12, 2010 at 5:37 AM

Miller should give it up.

Sometimes the bad guys win.

petunia on November 12, 2010 at 6:47 AM

Army Brat on November 12, 2010 at 12:50 AM

Thanks for the detailed info – it’s nice having the perspective of a conservative in Alaska, for a change.

I share your frustration. You see, this election did more than just drive some Democrats from office and restore control of the House to the GOP. It also made clear the following:

1. The biggest problem conservatives have is with the Senate GOP and they have to be the focus of the next tea party purge.

2. The Senate RINOs will do anything to remain in power – including running as independents and scheming with Democrats to throw conservatives overboard and keep them fom ever making their way into the Senate.

3. There are only two groups in the Senate: those who advocate and fight for smaller government and those who will do anything to continue to grow government. Membership of these two groups are not necessarily divided along traditional party (GOP or Democrat) lines. The DeMint-sponsored ban on earmarks has exposed the big government roaches in the GOP, some of whom were thought to be true conservatives.

4. I am gradually coming to the conclusion that the reason for point 2 above is point 3 – RINOs and Dems are uniting against conservatives in order to protect their power and shady deals in the Senate.

TheRightMan on November 12, 2010 at 7:53 AM

Another thought- I guess consistency is too much to expect sometimes.

Murkowski- sues to get her list of names provided. Gets criticized, but it happens.

Miller- challenges ballots, files lawsuit to force “exact spelling” standard to be applied. Gets criticized, critics come unglued…

Hmmm.

cs89 on November 12, 2010 at 8:31 AM

You have to laugh at the irony.

Her last name is the only reason she is in politics(her family). And her last name is what has the potential to remove her from politics(spelling of).

jeffn21 on November 12, 2010 at 8:36 AM

This is a fine argument for going back to state legislators selecting Senators.

I hoped Miller would win this. To me, Murkowski seems like the stereotypical you-scratch-my-back-I’ll-scratch-yours politician. But I don’t live in Alaska (and most of you don’t either), and it is up to the people of Alaska to pick their own Senator. And someone who writes “Leesa Mirkoughskee” has badly misspelled Murkowski’s name, but none-the-less has made their preference clear. What do we as Republicans honor — litigious niggling over loopholes in the law? Or representing the expressed will of the voters? Isn’t this what the Tea Party is all about, LISTENING to the people and doing what they want?

They should count the votes, with reasonable latitude for errant spelling. Remember, there are people with vision problems, dyslexia, all sorts of valid reasons for not spelling the name quite right. You could have “Murkowski” in block letters on the wall of the voting booth, and people — not necessarily dumb ones — will misspell it.

Time to decide what we stand for: respecting the will of the people, or using the courts to subvert that expressed will.

RegularJoe on November 12, 2010 at 9:01 AM

Time to decide what we stand for: respecting the will of the people, or using the courts to subvert that expressed will.

RegularJoe on November 12, 2010 at 9:01 AM

Another variant from the “Joe Miller, concede already!” crowd – and yes, I am aware of the typical disclaimer “I supported Joe and wanted him to win.”

I would want to believe that the will of the people is expressed in the laws that govern their community. The issue is not what Joe should or should not do – it is an issue of the law being followed. If the law demands that write-in votes be subject to strict spelling etc. then the law must be followed, moreso if that same criterion has been used in the past!

TheRightMan on November 12, 2010 at 9:20 AM

I challenge anyone to read the Alaska statute and find the words “spelling” or “spelled” in relation to a candidate’s name.

What they seem to have written it to say is that you can’t write in someone’s nickname. For example, when I lived in Louisiana, Charles “Buddy” Roemer was governor. Let’s say he moved to Alaska and ran as a write-in. A write-in vote for “Buddy” would not count since that is not his real name, but one in which you could identify Charles Roemer, even if slightly misspelled, would count.

AngusMc on November 12, 2010 at 9:41 AM

I don’t like this challenging votes that were obviously intended for this screechy b!tch. If the stupid voter wrote Murkowski, she gets the vote.

Moving on to the assumption that Joe Miller somehow lost this election to a write-in candidate, albeit the incumbent, what does the screechy b!tch do in office? Is she a Republican somehow? Or an independent who caucuses with the GOP? Or a true independent?

Jaibones on November 12, 2010 at 9:54 AM

This is beneath us as conservatives. It is what democrats do.

scotash on November 12, 2010 at 4:52 AM

Agreed.

Jaibones on November 12, 2010 at 9:59 AM

This is going to destroy any chance miller has in politics going forward. Yes it would have been nice to replace Murcowski with a more reliable conservative but that didn’t happen. Grow up and stop being such sore losers

snoopicus on November 12, 2010 at 10:03 AM

I’m sorry to see it come to this. Obviously, were I in Alaska, I’d have a different opinion because this vote belongs to them. That being said, I don’t like what Murkowski did by dishonoring her commitment to the Republican party and bowing out after losing in the primary.

She has the right, under the law, to do what she did. But the decent thing to do would have been to “dance with who brung you” as it’s said in the South.

Now I think that Miller has the opportunity to do the honorable thing. If he lost fairly, concede and move on.

It’s time to make elections stand for something. Both as winners and losers.

/s old fashioned

Tennman on November 12, 2010 at 10:04 AM

… not only did Miller lose, he has lost any chance of running again

Doctor Zhivago on November 11, 2010 at 6:08 PM

Comments like this make me laugh. … You obviously have not woken up to the sea change that has occurred in American politics thanks to the tea party! It might take several election cycles but Murkowski and her ilk are already extinct species soon to be swept from office.

TheRightMan on November 11, 2010 at 6:37 PM

I think this is also correct. Joe Miller will be the front-runner for the other Senate seat in Alaska if Dem support puts that screechy b!tch back in office. And she will have a lot of competition in six years.

Jaibones on November 12, 2010 at 10:12 AM

Human writing indicates intent a lot more than small–perhaps near–punctures in a paper sheet. With write-ins this isn’t even in the neighborhood of Florida.

Let’s leave the power-grubby stuff for the libs, shall we. If “intent of the voter” is really the standard, then misspelled write-ins show two things: 1) they wanted an option not presented on the ballot, 2) misspelling Murkowski’s name is no indication of intent not to vote for her.

Yes, if somebody voted for “Lisa MickeyMouski” then we can get an intent for “none of the the above” (“Mickey” being a popular write-in candidate for disgusted voters.)

Axeman on November 12, 2010 at 10:18 AM

She is a snake.

Opposite Day on November 11, 2010 at 6:35 PM

..yeah, but she’s our snake.

The War Planner on November 12, 2010 at 10:21 AM

Another variant from the “Joe Miller, concede already!” crowd…

TheRightMan on November 12, 2010 at 9:20 AM

Your reading isn’t much better than some of the Alaskans’ spelling. How does…

They should count the votes, with reasonable latitude for errant spelling.

… amount to Joe Miller “conced[ing] already”?

RegularJoe on November 12, 2010 at 10:36 AM

Lisa’s a jerk, but Joe lost. Accept it Joe, and move on.

disa on November 12, 2010 at 10:37 AM

If AK law states correct spelling & filled in bubble, then that’s what you have to make sure happens.
I fully believe if you spell your candidate’s name wrong a little that it’s a bummer you’d be disenfranchised.
But if that is the law, then maybe AK needs to change it.
Whatever the case, a lower case ‘r’ can be writtne to looke like a ‘v’ & if that is contested, that’s pretty fricking stupid.
I go along with the scrutiny on the re-count, but it sounds like Joe lost, so to squabble over this picture of a ballot here is dumb.
Now if there are scores of other ballots that really are messed up, then the law is the law.
What’s really interesting here is:

If Alaskans have chosen to write her in, and it looks like they have, then they will get what they deserve.

ReneePA on November 11, 2010 at 6:09 PM

People still do not learn.
Could it be Alaskans are addicted to pork?
Guess the corrupt mess in AK state govt still isn’t cleaned up.
Leave just one bacteria behind & they explode in population later.
What a shame.

Badger40 on November 12, 2010 at 10:52 AM

Isn’t it spelled MurkyCowSky?

LegendHasIt on November 12, 2010 at 10:57 AM

The DeMint-sponsored ban on earmarks has exposed the big government roaches in the GOP
TheRightMan on November 12, 2010 at 7:53 AM

Should have been done a long time ago.
Now that the light’s been turned on & they’re scurrying, let’s go all out & have someone sponsor term limits.
There are probably still a lot of roaches left to flush out in the open.

Badger40 on November 12, 2010 at 10:58 AM

Joe Miller might have been a good Senator one day, but he needs to “stay classy”. Many conservatives probably prefer him to Murkowski, and resent her “sore-loser” write-in campaign, but for now it seems like enough Alaskan voters like her enough to take the effort to write her name on a ballot where she doesn’t appear. Write-in campaigns don’t usually succeed, because the candidate is usually not very well-known compared to the candidates printed on the ballot, but Lisa Murkowski has been Senator for 8 years and is well-known in the sparsely-populated state of Alaska. Maybe a lot of Alaska voters are addicted to pork brought to them by Lisa, her dad, and Ted Stevens, but if that’s what a plurality of them want, so be it.

Conservative candidates like Joe Miller need to avoid the “win at any cost” mentality, making frivolous challenges like Gore in Florida in 2000 and both Franken and Coleman in MN in 2006. Fight fair, but if another candidate gets more votes, concede graciously to the winner, and come back in another year.

When it comes time to challenge Alaska’s Democrat Senator (Begich) in 2014, will voters really want Joe Miller again, after he pulls shenanigans like this?

Sarah Palin won the Governorship over Frank Murkowski by running on a platform of fairness and integrity in government, and her successor Sean Parnell easily won re-election. Joe Miller won the primary with Palin’s backing, but if Palin truly wants integrity, would she condone this?

Steve Z on November 12, 2010 at 11:47 AM

You can read the Constitution as long and hard as you like, but you won’t find a provision anywhere in it that confers upon ordinary citizens something called the “right to vote.”

While it is true the Constitution does not specifically enumerate the right to vote, it does say this:

Amendment IX
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

The Constitution also says the the right to vote shall not be denied in various Amendments.

If the right to vote does not exist, how can said non-existent right be denied, or not be denied?

But nothing in the Constitution prevents the Government from depriving everyone equally of the right to vote.

So they government can deny the right to vote equally just because it wants to?

Hello, banana republic!

rukiddingme on November 12, 2010 at 12:03 PM

I can’t blame Miller for fighting until the last ballot has been ruled on. He won his parties nomination, but Murkowski refused to give up.

Why should he give up now? I disagree with some of his challenges, but it makes sense for him to challenge as many as he can, even if he doesn’t reasonably expect the ballots to get thrown out.

hawksruleva on November 12, 2010 at 12:28 PM

Well, I guess those of us who thought that conservatives had universally greater integrity than liberals are getting a lesson in reality. What’s next, are we going to start finding uncounted ballots in our car trunks? There goes our right to complain about Obama getting his opponents thrown off the ballot on frivolous technicalities.

Sometimes I wonder if our country deserves to be be doomed.

RegularJoe on November 12, 2010 at 1:37 PM

Time to decide what we stand for: respecting the will of the people, or using the courts to subvert that expressed will.

RegularJoe on November 12, 2010 at 9:01 AM

Stop deluding yourselves, conservatives, or this election will be the briefest pendulum swing in American political history.

Did you notice that many Senate races–and even some House races–had a 5-point leftward swing from the last reliable polls to the actual results of the elections? The Nevada race swung 11 points! Were the polls too conservative???? Was momentum against us all along but we failed to realize it?

Not on your life. What gave the Dems–and especially Harry Reid–confidence leading up to election day? The fact that they have established a Get Out The Vote program that puts ours(?) to shame, that allows them to turn their worst scenario possible into only a butt-whoopin’, and to isolate our victory to one half of one third of the government.

Over the years, Dem lawyers have gotten all kinds of rules passed at the local and state level that allow them to manipulate the ‘disadvantaged’ voters. They play by those rules, the actual rules, not by the “That’s not fair!” feelings of conservatives.

Unless we are willing to learn those ACTUAL rules and create our own counter-efforts, giving the disadvantaged voters real choices, conservatives will need to plan on winning every race by 5 points in order to emerge victorious.

While I despise Murkowski, she is playing by the rules. So is Miller, and I respect both of them for not abandoning their campaigns–and their supporters–frivolously. Daddy’s Little Girl has been fighting to keep the special interest groups getting paid, so why shouldn’t Joe keep fighting to get the common man represented?

I’m not an Alaskan voter, but I would support him better in 2014 if he goes down fighting for me in 2010 than if he concedes when the votes haven’t even been counted yet.

rwenger43 on November 12, 2010 at 2:32 PM

There goes our right to complain about Obama getting his opponents thrown off the ballot on frivolous technicalities.

I’d rather win an election than complain about the way my opponent won it. Wouldn’t you?

Or would you rather dismiss all election laws as ‘frivolous technicalities’?

rwenger43 on November 12, 2010 at 2:37 PM

If AK law states correct spelling & filled in bubble, then that’s what you have to make sure happens.

The filled-in bubble is part of the law. The law, however, says zero about spelling.

AngusMc on November 12, 2010 at 6:14 PM

I think it should be illegal for the loser of a primary to then run a write in campaign. Basically it becomes a second primary, and costs a lot of money and time to count. If someone has already run and lost, why give him a second bite at the apple?

flataffect on November 12, 2010 at 7:05 PM

Looks like Murkowski schooled Sarah in the art of politics. Has to sting. Maybe if she had spent a little time campaigning on his behalf things would have gone differently.

Palin 1 – Frank M 0
Lisa M 1 – Palin 0

Maybe Joe can get in the security business and kneecap a few journalists who ask the indiscreet question such as “Gov P exactly how would you solve the deficit problem?” or “Gov P when you quit as governor you said it was due to the expense of lawsuits yet in the 08 campaign you had obtained agreement from the RNC to give you 129K to help. Why was this not mentioned at the presser?”

Bradky on November 13, 2010 at 4:35 PM

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