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November 23, 2010

Alaska Senate Race Update (Ben)

Joe Miller has filed suit in the state court to stop them from using discretion in determining voter intent on write in ballots.

Miller originally filed in Federal court but U.S. District Judge Ralph Beistline ruled Friday that it was a matter for the State court. Beistline granted a temporary injunction.

Alaskan State law stipulates that write-in ballots must have the provided oval filled in and the candidate's last name or name written as it appears on their declaration of candidacy.

Miller's lawsuit argues:

"Defendants nevertheless have decided to ignore the statute and create 'exceptions' to count ballots that do not satisfy these clear requirements," the 21-page lawsuit filed in Fairbanks states. "By so doing the defendants have violated the mandatory legislative requirements and fundamentally altered the election."

The Lt. Governor Craig Campbell has been defending the procedure by claiming the state does not want to disenfranchise voters.

However, a new twist in the lawsuit, or at least something I was not aware Miller was claiming:

(the lawsuit) claims that in several precincts, the handwriting on "many or all" write-in ballots appears to be from the same person, or a small group of people. It claims this is a violation of state law, which says the voter must write the candidate's name. This, however, could be due to voters receiving requested, allowable aid in filling out ballots.

The lawsuit says the state has ignored state law requirements implemented to prevent voting fraud and uphold the integrity of the process, "thereby casting serious doubt on the returns from certain precincts."

This is the first I've heard of this. I know that Miller was planning to contest ballots with mispelled names, but I didn't know that he was also alleging fraud. I'm not sure how Miller proves this fraud in court. Would it require handwritting experts or depositions of poll workers in the precinct's in question?

What do you think? Is this a lost cause? Should Miller concede at this point and prepare to run against Mark Begich in 2014? The Alaskan Republican Party has told Miller he should concede.

H/T Gabe

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posted by Open Blogger at 10:37 AM

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