Tales from the Trail

Will spelling count in Alaska write-in ballot count?

November 11, 2010

vote3They’re counting write-in ballots in Alaska to decide the winner of the last undecided U.S. Senate race of the 2010 elections.

It’s write-in candidate Lisa Murkowski versus Sarah Palin protege and Tea Party favorite Joe Miller in a Republican family feud where spelling counts.

Incumbent  Murkowski lost  to Miller in the Republican Senate primary. But she mounted a write-in campaign to keep the seat she’s held for eight years.

It’s the “The Great Alaska Spelling Bee” in which Miller sought to make sure  Murkowski’s name be spelled right on the write-in ballots. Before the counting started on Wednesday , Miller filed a lawsuit in federal court seeking to invoke the spelling rule.

The jury is still out on that one.

Meantime, seattlepi.com reported initial results from Juneau indicate that Murkowski is headed back to theSenate, unless Miller prevails in court and as the count proceeded, a federal judge denied Miller’s request to immediately stop the write-in counts.

Both the Murkowski and Miller campaigns have lawyers and election observers camped out in Juneau for the write-in count which  could take a few days.  The counts and challenges stir up memories  of hanging chads in another contentious recount battle,  Bush v. Gore , which Miller cites in his lawsuit.

“The most likely point of contention will be ballots that clearly indicate Murkowski as the write-in candidate, but do not spell her name correctly.  Murkowski put a lot of effort into educating her voters about the write-in process, and her name isn’t that hard to spell,” John Hayward writes in Human Events.

Photo Credit: REUTERS/Mike Blake (Sheets of “I Voted” stickers)

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Go Lisa….

Posted by jazzanni | Report as abusive
 

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