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Hot! Alaska's Miller Sues To Force Spelling Law

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.

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M. Swaim said...

He's just prejudiced because his last name is Miller.

My Chocolate Heart said...

This seems a bit desperate. Half the people in America can't spell worth a darn. I don't know if that means their vote shouldn't count. I don't want Murkowski to win by any means, but something about this just seems vindictive. Then again, maybe correct spelling is not too much to ask from the electorate. At least you'd know the voters were informed. I guess I'm torn.

Anonymous said...

Hmm, this is a tough one. On the one hand, the law should be followed as written, and "discretion" for this seems a bit corrupt in Murkowski's favor. To add to that, the precise problem in this country is an ill-informed / dumb electorate, so in that respect it's a good thing to NOT count the votes of those who can't spell the name. And let's be real, the name is not a real stretch for anyone of minimal mental competence.

On the other hand, if a voter clearly intended to vote for Murkowski but mispells one letter, excluding that vote seems very questionable for reasons of common sense. And I'm a fan of the Tea Party, but you would be very hard pressed to convince me that they would not fight the other way (for mispellings to be allowed) if their candidate was the write-in.

Mike in CT said...

I wonder if they should disregard the write-ins for "Miler" or "Milller".

Anonymous said...

Yeah, people with funny names shouldn't be in office. Damn furriners.

Anonymous said...

@Mike, Miller was the actual Republican candidate on the ballot. So yeah, write ins for "Miler", "Milller", or "Miller" should be disregarded, since he was not a write in candidate.

Anonymous said...

Watt eh stewpid quase. He's eh luser!

JR said...

Maybe Miller is the best man for the job, but I think it is pretty pathetic to try to win an election by invalidating people's votes on account of spelling errors. Elections are supposed to reflect the will of the majority, and if the majority chose the write-in candidate, however bad their spelling, she should win. That's how democracy works. Take it or leave it.

This kind of goes against everything that America stands for, doesn't it?

dancingcrane said...

I dislike Murkowski, but if the write-in is obviously a clear variant of her name, it has to count. Elections are not spelling bees. This makes Miller look petty.

Better to spend the time making sure that ballots weren't cast by dead people, illegals, fake absentees and rigged voting machines. That would serve us better, throughout the whole country.

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