Yesterday about twenty percent of the write-in ballots were counted. 98 percent were for Murkowski and 89% of those weren’t challenged by Miller’s poll watchers. DrewM did the math and at that rate Murkowski would win by about 1000 votes without even having to count the challenged ballots. In other words, the exact-spelling rule dispute will be moot if the the 89% rate persists.
Miller must have done the math too because he’s challenging a lot more ballots today, including these:
According to Miller’s poll watchers, the three voters who filled out those ballots should be disfranchised. By challenging ballots like these, which are clearly Murkowski votes and don’t appear misspelled to me, Miller is ensuring that the pile of challenged ballots will have to be considered to determine the outcome of the election.
Update: This was sent to me by Jim Wilke via twitter and it gets right to the problem. This ballot has two flaws that I can see.
First, and most importantly, the voter didn’t fill in the bubble next to the blank line before writing in Murkowski’s name. Second, it looks like she (it’s a she, right?) wrote “Murkoski”, omitting the “w”.
And here’s one, I s@%t you not, for “Lisa Murcoski (sorry if I misspelled).”
Problem is two conflicting laws prevail. One says the name must be accurate and another says the intent of the voter should be considered. My last name is Milliron. If someone wrote Milleron what would the intent of the vote be. The other law would eliminate that vote due to it not being written exactly as my last name. How is it possible to have two opposing laws on the books in Alaska? Could it be that no write in candidate has won since 1954?
So this is where we find ourselves, Murcowski… I meant Murkowski appears to have 89% of the write ins. Miller continues to hold on to the absentees which are mostly from Alaska Natives who are going significantly for Murkowski as she has supported many of the Natives initiatives and earmarks while in the Senate.
From Alaska Daily News
New help for the Miller campaign
Update, 2:14 p.m.
Floyd Brown, the man responsible for the “Willie Horton” television ad that helped derail the Michael Dukakis presidential campaign in 1988, has signed up for the Joe Miller campaign.
Brown is here in Juneau today for the write-in ballot review and he has called a 3:30 p.m. press conference to discuss “the direction of the Miller campaign heading into the weekend.” Brown is being described by the campaign as “advisor to Joe Miller.”
I wrote a profile of Brown a few years ago.
He created a a 1-900 line in 1992 so callers could hear edited excerpts of telephone conversations between Bill Clinton and Arkansas lounge singer Gennifer Flowers. He’s also founder of Citizens United, whose Supreme Court case led to the allowance of unlimited donations from corporations and unions to certain types of political committees.
The Citizens United case opened the door for Alaskans Standing Together, the consortium of Native corporations that spent more than $1 million to help Lisa Murkowski’s write-in effort.
Brown now runs the ImpeachObamaCampaign.com Web site.
Update, 12:37 p.m.
We just received the first results of today’s count and the trend is similar to what we saw yesterday, with Lisa Murkowski receiving nearly 98 percent of the write in ballots cast.
The Alaska Division of Elections has now reviewed the writes-in for 32 percent of the precincts. More than 89 percent of the 30,023 write-in votes cast are unchallenged for Murkowski.
Another 8.4 percent of the writes-in were challenged by Miller campaign observers but counted for Murkowski by Elections Director Gail Fenumiai.Those include examples of ballots that appear to be filled out correctly but were still challenged (see below). The Miller campaign challenges of those votes still stand, with Miller hoping the courts will rule on them.
They are being segregated in boxes with the status “counted but challenged.”
Just 1.5 percent of the write-in ballots have been successfully challenged by the Miller ballot observers, with Fenumiai agreeing with Miller that they should not be counted.
The second day of reviewing write-in ballots has begun, and the Miller campaign observers are aggressively challenging ballots.
Often the challenged ballots (the ones pictured above are examples) appear to be filled out correctly, including the spelling of Lisa Murkowski’s name.
“All we’re doing right now is identifying any ballots that are questionable, have any deviation from the standard,” said Miller campaign spokesman Randy DeSoto.
The Miller campaign expects the courts to have the final say.