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September 2, 2014

M-U-R-K-O-W-S-K-I v. The Letter of the Law – Joe Miller Sues!

One of the two Republican attorneys vying for the U.S. Senate seat in Alaska is suing. (Hint: It’s the one with the half-beard, not the one who failed the Bar exam four times)

Yes, Joe Miller filed a lawsuit today, just hours before the write-in ballots are due to be counted in Juneau.  What he wants, he says, is for the state to follow “the letter of the law” when determining which write-in ballots should count, and which ones should be chucked.

Miller’s attorney, Thomas Van Flein, said the campaign is seeking a hearing on the matter as early as Wednesday afternoon.

[snip]

Initial returns, including thousands of absentee ballots tallied Tuesday, showed write-ins maintaining a lead over Miller. However, it’s unclear how many of those write-in votes are for Murkowski or were properly cast for her.

Election law calls for write-in ballots to have the oval filled in and either the candidate’s last name or name as it appears on a declaration of candidacy written in. But election officials, pointing to prior case law, have said they plan to use discretion, in consultation with a state attorney, when it comes to misspellings or variations of Murkowski’s name.

Miller’s lawsuit calls this an “eleventh hour decision” and argues the state should be held to the letter of the law.

It appears as though Miller has narrowed the gap between him and Murkowski, picking up more than a thousand votes in absentee ballots counted so far.  The thick plottens…

And so we duke it out to determine where the line is drawn between voter intent, and the letter of the law.

For those of you who are upset that the blockbuster political event of the season is not happening in Anchorage, be cheered.  You can watch all the ballot counting live on your very own teevee!

KTOO’s statewide television public affairs channel, 360 North, plans to televise live coverage of the count of write-in ballots for the U.S. Senate race. The Division of Elections plans to start tabulating write-in votes from the November 4th general election on Wednesday (Nov. 10) in Juneau. 360 North plans to televise the entire count, which may last three or four days, with coverage starting at 9 a.m. and running all day through Friday or Saturday.

The write in-count is expected to draw a large number of observers, attorneys and media, watching the work of 15 teams of elections officials.

“Given the high interest in the outcome of the Senate election, we believe it important for all Alaskans to be able to observe the process,” said Bill Legere, KTOO’s general manager. “While we don’t expect much drama or excitement, every Alaskan will be able to watch through our cameras,” Legere said.

360 North is seen statewide on GCI Cable channel 15 (channel 18 in Juneau), and is broadcast over the air on KTOO-TV in Juneau (channel 3.2), KAKM-TV in Anchorage (channel 7.3) and KUAC-TV in Fairbanks (channel 9.4). 360 North is also available on Dish Network and DirecTV, and is streamed on the Internet at www.360north.org.

I had been planning on spending the day watching paint dry, but this promises to be equally as exciting!  If any of you are truly this wonky, feel free to live blog the drying paint ballot count here, unless one of us feels compelled to report on the event as it happens, in which case you can join the new post.

Four solid days of heart-pounding, non-stop, ballot-counting action!  ARE YOU READY?!?

The legal documents are HERE and HERE.

Comments

comments

Comments
121 Responses to “M-U-R-K-O-W-S-K-I v. The Letter of the Law – Joe Miller Sues!”
  1. marcus2 says:

    I just saw an interview with Lisa Murkowski and her right wing politics positions aside, she’s articulate and considers how to respond before she speaks. Contrast this to Joe Miller and his compatriot Sarah Palin, who come across as two 12 year olds who have had way too many sugar cookies before boarding the bus to school. Well, kids will be kids.

  2. tom says:

    As a painter I find these paint drying comments offensive. Drying paint is much more interesting then politics. It’s prettier and if you don’t like it you can just cover it up. Not so with politicians

  3. marcus2 says:

    Joe was all fired up when he won the nomination. He even went to Washington to measure drapes. He just lost and he’s crying like a little baby and holding his breath till his face turns blue. Give it up, Joe and take it at least like a teenager.

  4. Alaskan Sisu says:

    I understand how some of you who do not live here would have a hard time understanding the divisiveness caused within this State by Miss Quitster in a short period of time…while she lounged n Wasilla playing the role of Governor In Name Only…GINO.

    I shudder when I think of two years with Joe Miller…we might be a HUGE state but we have a small population and divisiveness can impact everyone’s stability factors. I am hoping Alaska will make history with this write-in candidacy…let’s wait and see what Alaskans decide. Our respected Sitka (Alaskan) candidate didn’t lose anything…he gained a lot of respect. The last thing he would want would be another election based upon the results.

    • Moose Pucky says:

      Thanks for those comments. And it will be SIX years.

      Murkowski has voted against and worked against my values. Healthy land, healthy water, healthy people (all of them–not just some.)

      I truly wish for something better.

    • Bretta says:

      I agree McAdams gained a lot. I am hoping he takes all he’s learned and runs again like a Locomotive.

      I believe he is truly one who could lead as Governor or Senator.

  5. Alaskan Sisu says:

    I proudly and carefully wrote out Lisa Murkowski on my ballot. I will be forever grateful for much of Alaska’s infrastructure provided with the support of the Murkowskis.. Roads, Airports, Ferrys, Transportation, Health, Safety, Commerce…the Murkowski family has delivered. Not only have they delivered, they have always treated the people located throughout this diverse state “equally” and “listened” and “worked” with all people in addressing concerns. Many areas of this state are accessed only by air or water transport, the people’s needs vary in extremes.

    I am united with the people for Lisa Murkowski because she has never used her position, nor did her father, to divide the people in this state in the manner in which Palin and Miller. Thank you.
    “United We Stand, Divided We Fall”

    • bubbles says:

      i respect your decision Alaskan Sisu. you are the first to give a good reason. a very good reason i might add.
      you didn’t vote ‘against’ you voted ‘for’.
      you didn’t play games with the electoral process. you voted your conscience. well done, dear pup, well done.
      as a New Yorker it might seem that i don’t have a great deal to say about politics in Alaska but when it comes to putting me and mine in jeopardy then i open my mouth. the Miller/Palin connection had me speaking out big time. at least the rest of the nation knows what to expect from Senator Murkowski. her ability to do harm is not the same as wanting to do an injury to anyone.
      i am delighted to see you here amongst us once again.

  6. Moose Pucky says:

    I’d like to have a close look at the ballots from Anvik–all 39 voters, 100% voted write-in. If there is a lot of consistency in those ballots, one might wonder how much “assistance” was provided at the polls and if there were any poll watchers from any other party. Not to imply that the folks in Anvik don’t know what they want–but most communities do not vote in lockstop with any one person.

  7. beth says:

    Has McAdams conceded? To my mind, he should take the ‘high road’ and sue the Dept of Elections on behalf of ALL Alaskans…on the grounds that with their blatant electioneering at on-site polling places, NO candidate got a fair shake and therefore, no matter who the eventual ‘winner’ is, it will NOT be that they [the 'winning' candidate] are Senator as a result of *clean* and *fair* voting. Not to mention *unintimidated* voting.

    The minute the DoE had their polling places hand out sheets of paper with the *list* of write-in candidates, a list the DoE compiled!, they over-stepped their mandate to “assist” voters. That those compiled lists were then posted IN the voting booth at some locations, just proves how out-of-control the DoE was over its operations.

    The DoE, by law — and rightfully, so– must assist the voter in casting a write-in vote should the voter indicate they wish to do so [explain *how* to do it]; the DoE, instead, took it upon themselves to tell the on-site voter –ALL on-site voters– *who* to vote for. By (ahem) ‘providing’ the list of names, the DoE was, in essence, telling the voter: “Yes, there are printed names on the ballot, but we, the Alaska DoE, *know* you would *much* rather vote for someone else…we agree: you really *should* vote for someone else, and here’s who you *should* vote for.” Now if THAT isn’t voter intimidation and electioneering for a *specific* candidate, I don’t know what is.

    By the DoE, by its own admission, *NOT* complying with the laws governing ‘assistance’ of voters *UNTIL* just days before 2 November [ie - changing what they had been doing because it was unlawful], the integrity of ALL votes cast on-site for US Senator *prior* to their admission/correction, are compromised. The DoE *cannot*, now, count ANY of those cast-prior votes for US Senator in the final tally…they were ALL cast under unlawful conditions and ALL *have* to be voided.

    Forget the spelling on any on-site write-in ballot cast *prior* to when the DoE got itself [finally!] acting lawfully in that race…that is NOT the issue –it’s merely a distraction.

    The CORE issue is: The DoE, by intent, design, or through gross incompetence, conducted the vast majority of its on-site voting for US Senator in an unlawful manner; it violated its own rules and regulations, and violated the trust of Alaska’s citizens that elections wil be held fairly and honestly *without* interference *by* the DoE.

    The voting for US Senator from Alaska HAS to be re-done. The citizens should demand nothing less, and McAdams, the champion of ALL Alaskans, should lead the way in getting a special election called for the seat. The DoE’s unlawful actions should NOT determine who the next US Senator is. beth.

  8. Blooper says:

    I hate to admit it but I’m in full agreement with Miller’s campaign on this one. The division of elections should follow the law as it was written, not make up rules on the fly to favor ‘write-in’.

    • Millie says:

      I said something similar in an earlier comment.

      Everything is in Murkowski’s favor! She advertised how to spell her name, making it a spelling bee (a voter in her favor should know how to spell her name as there was enough ‘full-paged’ advertising in the ADN!).

      She passed out the blue bracelets – showing her full name – that were actually alllowed worn into the voting booth as long as no one could see them (!)

      And, there was the ‘list’ a voter could ask for at their place of voting which also reflected the correct spelling of Murkowski’s name.

      Every precaution was made to assure her winning even though SHE LOST THE PRIMARY!

      In my opinion, her name should have to be spelled correctly.

      • ibwilliamsi says:

        Geez, Millie, you already had 12 comments on this point on this very thread. We get your point. I disagree about your blue bracelet theory.

  9. just sayin' says:

    What’s up with the report that it was the lowest voter turnout ever, or something to that effect? In my district they were counting record numbers of ballot cast, had surpassed the usual numbers of interested voters by noon. Also, ballots were being kicked out by the machine repeatedly, especially those with darkened D ovals, it seemed anyway, from my and others experience. Did the R voters have the same problems? There is alot going on here that needs investigating!

  10. zyggy says:

    I was thinking Joe looked more like Norville “Shaggy” Rogers from Scooby Doo

  11. DF says:

    Gonna watch! Oh Boy!

  12. zyggy says:

    I’m bringing lots of bags of popcorn to the countin’ ceremony. If we get tired watching the votes being counted, we can count popcorn. Then we can pass out the flasks, damn this may be more fun than I first thought. I can see all the mudpups drunk, tossing popcorn at the counters and yelling, “Go McAdams”. =)

    • bubbles says:

      i like McAdams and it is hard to give him up so i am yelling “go for Governor next time McAdams!!!” i believe that between now and then our ‘big man’ will be ready to challenge the republican leadership for State Senate or to take the governorship away from them.

    • Bretta says:

      Our drinking game should include a swig every time Joke MilLiar starts a lawsuit, and another each time he tries to weasel out of something he got caught on (again), and everytime he misquotes the Constitution or some other part of Law.

      We wudda been alcoholics between the Primary and the General. Oy.

  13. Eddie in Anchorage says:

    If the court sides with the “voter intent” argument then the impact is clear: It was the intent of the vast majority of Alaskans that Miller not represent us in Congress.

    I hereby declare that it is the intent of most Alaskans that we have a Senator of whom we can be proud and who is motivated by one thing and one thing only: the best interests of the people of this state.

    Miller and that woman should do the honorable thing: Settle their differences privately and unite in stepping aside to concede the election to our next Senator.

    Go Scott!

  14. flloyd says:

    I am curious. How does the state verify where a write-in ballot comes from. What I mean is, do the write-in ballots contain legally registered voter name and return address on them to verify only one vote was cast per legal voter or for that matter there is proof no ballots were cast from dead people, convicted felons, Eskimos (whaa), animals, vegetables, minerals, space aliens, Siamese twins, polar bears….well you get the idea. I for one mailed in well over 100 write-in ballots.

    • ibwilliamsi says:

      They validate it the same way they validate every other ballot because it is exactly the same as every other ballot. By signature on the return mail envelope.

    • Bretta says:

      When you register to vote you have to show proof of identification so your registration is linked to your ID and your address. If you requested a ballot to be mailed to you for absentee voting, you only get one per address/registered voter.

      If you mailed in over 100 ballots, write-in or otherwise, then you must have registered with 100 different IDs – that’s not to say someone might notice and find it strange when mailing those to you that there is one address for all of them.

      I myself would wonder where you had the time, but maybe you have aliens and bears cleaning up after you.

      Conjoined twins get a ballot for each recognized person. Chimeras, schizophrenics and multiple personalities only get one ballot. Bristol Palin could have given you her ballot, since she didn’t use it.

    • tom says:

      Wow Fllyod do you lie like this all the time or only when people don’t know who you are.

  15. Pinwheel says:

    I know I’m with TSPEY. We do need some organization for the future. The municipality of Anchorage needs a serious challenge. Groups to confirm or deny statements. Get the background right. Look at all the people who are willing to give valuable time for the best cause. We each have some more to offer because liberty and justice is for all.

    I am not sure how we can do this but let’s do it.

  16. tspey says:

    Seriously, what is wrong with 75% of Alaskans (40% Mor$forkorporationski: 35% Mil’liar’)? I guess we have been diluted over the decades of news about corporate bribes, back-door dealings, and the never ending Sarah saga. When outsiders now hear the word Alaska they do not conjure up dream images of pristine mountains and rivers instead many think of the fame-monger Palin and her sidekick, no not silent Todd, you know the bearded liar who likes to share lawyers. My sister who works on ‘the Hill’ constantly asks for details of our crazy politics. Sadly Alaska is the Holy Grail of TMZ America.

    My question is whose fault is this? The answer is tough to swallow with a mouth full of moose stew but simply put it is the voters of Alaska. We (not me) just voted back in Congressman for life Don Abramhoff and a slew of questionable legislators. Li$a represents big $ and Joe represents the certifiably insane. I guess one could sit back and wallow in despair and eat a bag of Doritos but it is this ‘oh well’ attitude that has delivered us to this point. We may have been saved from ‘Miller time’ but who will it be in the next election cycle? I think it is past time for each of us who are able to take action.

    • fishingmamma says:

      They were voted in by people who do not read the newspaper, let alone research serious issues. They are going home from work, turning on the latest episode of ‘mean girls’ or ‘housewives of someplace’ and staring at the tube till time to go to work again. They do not know who the governor is right now and they don’t care, but they heard that Obama is bad, so they vote against that.

      There are simply too many uneducated, incurious people with idea how far they are living from the real world. They shop at Walmart and eat Mac-n-cheese from a box and drink cheap beer and spend their adult years thinking they are lucky.

      They are not sure what a Muslim is, but they have been told that there is a secret war against Americans that is being waged by Muslims, and they are afraid. So they vote for people who tell them that we can build a bigger pipeline and then the Muslims won’t get us because we will be the ones with the jobs and the gas. We won’t have to pay taxes anymore because the pipeline will pay for everything, as soon as we get the right republican ‘team’ in DC to get the evil, overbloated, Guvmint monster off our backs so we can grow bizness. They have no idea what that means or how that will be accomplished, but it is easier to understand than the reasonable guy that says we have serious problems and we need to work together to solve them.

      They hang teabags from their hats and have no idea how ridiculous that looks, and they wear red, white, and blue as if that makes them more American, because they have no idea that to be a real American is to be informed and engaged and educated about how this country works. That to be a citizen is to be involved and responsible and to take ownership of the government and understand it, not to condemn it as the evil in the back yard. That was the vision of the framers of the
      Constitution, and that is what is expected of all of us today.

      • johnny says:

        They know he’s part black, that’s enough for the tea party.

      • bubbles says:

        oh well said Fishingmama. well said indeed.

      • ibwilliamsi says:

        Hear, hear, Fishingmama. I really got an earful the other night. An acquaintance was ranting and raving about what was wrong with our government and politicians, and she went on to say, “I never vote.” I told her “Lin, if you don’t vote, you don’t matter.” She went ballistic. I told it “It is what it is” and walked away. I understand her pity party is still going on.

    • Desa Jacobsson says:

      Alaska is a corrupt state. I thought everyone knew that. With McQuittyPants it became a corrupt and ignorant state.

  17. Chaim says:

    AKM — should be “between him and Murkowski,” not “between he and Murkowski” — the nominal nominee here takes the objective case, even if you find his case objectionable …

  18. Califpat says:

    LMD, here,here!!!

  19. LoveMyDogs says:

    Sorry, I could care less who wins. Didn’t vote for either one of them. Neither one of them represents me or any of the issues important to me. Six of one, half dozen of the other is how I feel. If Lisa wins, however, we shall never be rid of her. I have other thoughts but it is absolutely gorgeous outside fresh snow, HUGE sickle moon, tons of stars, brisk air….I will frolick with my dogs instead of worrying about it….
    Tomorrow is another day….

    • AKPetMom says:

      I agree, there are no “lesser of two evils” where these two are concerned and whomever comes out victorious in the end of the counting will still be a loss for Alaska. But whatever, at least we have one rather conservative senator, albeit still with a D after his name, representing us in Alaska, and for us that’s something.

      But yea, outdoors is beautiful right now, moon, stars and a beautiful coating of hoarfrost does a spirit good, be it man or beast.

      • fishingmamma says:

        Just remember, if Lease-a wins and goes back to DC, we may never get her out of there. If Joe wins and heads east, people will probably only give him omne term.

  20. Susan says:

    Love the fact that Mister The Feds Need to Stay Out of the State’s Business is suing in federal court to get them to step in and enforce Alaska’s rule. I didn’t support or vote for Murkowski but if someone wanted to vote for her, their vote should be counted.

  21. Baker's Dozen says:

    With due credit to George Cohen. Some people’s names are worth spelling and remembering.

    H, A, double-R, I, G, A, N spells Harrigan
    Proud of all the Irish blood that’s in me
    Divil’ a man can say a word agin’ me
    H, A, double-R, I, G, A, N you see
    Is a name that a shame never has been connected with
    Harrigan, that’s me!
    Who is the man never stood for a gadabout?
    Harrigan, that’s me!
    Who is the man that the town’s simply mad about?
    Harrigan that’s me!
    They ladies and babies are fond of me
    I’m fond of them, too, in return, you see
    Who is the gent that’s deserving a monument?
    Harrigan, that’s me!
    H, A, double-R, I, G, A, N spells “Harrigan”
    Proud of all the Irish blood that’s in me
    Di-vil’ a man can say a word agin’ me
    H, A, double-R, I, G, A, N you see
    Is a name that a shame never has been connected with
    Harrigan, that’s me!

    Wish we could say the same about our newest spelling sensation.

  22. Baker's Dozen says:

    Ballot counting. Let’s see . . .

    There’s the Russian ballot–it’s famous (Palin can see it from her cee-ment slab) and
    New York ballot and
    San Francisco ballot and
    Lodon ballot and surely
    Paris has a ballot! Is there an
    Anchorage ballot?

    Oh, wait. You said “ballot,” not “ballet!”
    Pooh

  23. Millie says:

    And, I voted for Mayor McAdams….so not pro either Miller or Murkowski.

  24. Millie says:

    Hate to say this, but I agree with Miller in this lawsuit. If someone takes the time to review the person they are going to vote for – no matter which office – and, especially a write-in candidate, they at least should know enough about the person to have determined how they spell their name.

    Plus, Murkowski provided blue bracelets to people and they were actually allowed to wear them into the voting booth (which I personally don’t think should have been allowed), as long as they didn’t show! There really should be no misspelling of Murkowski allowed. Too many opportunities to do it correctly – to include seeing the list. Anyone think this was fixed?

    • SBorbridge says:

      I didn’t vote for either of the two R’s, but whoever wins should win fairly (haha…as fairly as this election process can be) and Div. of Elections should not be rewriting the law as these votes are counted.

      • johnny says:

        The policy was announced way before, ie weeks ago. Not as the votes are counted. Anyway, I’d like to see Miller try to disenfranchize the villages. Now THAT will be a reality show.

    • techweenie says:

      Yes, but 100% of ballot voters were given the ability to check Miller without having to spell the name. I doubt the blue bracelets got to even 10% of ballot voters.

      Dyslexics fro Mercowsky

      • ibwilliamsi says:

        Miller earned a place on the ballot through the primary election. The virtue of being a “write in” candidate is that you have to have your name written in. Lisa chose not to run as an Independent, so her choice was to be written in. It’s not as though she didn’t have some idea that her name was difficult to spell for some people.

    • Desa Jacobsson says:

      Millie, I think the only fixing came from Oil Can Dan Fagan, the Eric Cartman of theTea Baggers in Alaska. He urged his listeners to put their names in as write-in candidates so the “right candidate wins.” He offered prizes to those who did.

      On his talk radio show, he was going to head to court to get his name legally changed to Lisa Murkowski until he was told that he couldn’t get it done in two hours. Now there’s a smart guy, huh?

      A hundred and fifty of his tea bag listeners signed up. Hope he messed it up for Miller and Lease-A wins by a hundred and fifty write-in votes.

      • Millie says:

        Desa – you are moving away from the point I was trying to make. Murkowski has every advantage in this ‘write-in’ campaign. The list of all the ‘write-in’s’ which shows Murkowski and the correct spelling, the bracelets which were passed out to many and the fact, that if you were a person that favored her, would have figured out how to spell her name.
        Plus, I don’t trust how the Division of Elections is handling this entire thing….to much money involved with Murkowski’s election and Alaska is a red state – w/a Republican administration.

        • Alaska Pi says:

          I agree with you at a basic level but I think Mr Miller is going at this count in one of those legal scatter-shot maneuvers we see too often.
          He’s raising every objection he can think of ahead of the game and hoping something will stick… he is not really standing up for anything beyond whatever it takes to advance his own interests.
          He’d drop any of his objections to some piece of the process like a hot spud , whether it hurt voters or not, if it appeared to limit or negate his own advancement.
          I’m being very cold hearted about agreeing with anything he says until we see what it is he is trying to twist what way for himself… even when he starts with a basically sound premise…

    • MizzR says:

      You have every right to your opinion, but as far as the law goes, Miller is wrong. It’s an election, not a spelling bee.

      • Millie says:

        Murkowski made it a spelling bee – she lost in the primary!!!!!!!

      • johnny says:

        The law doesn’t mention the word “spelling” or “spelt”, either, which is what Miller uses. I wonder what he’ll do for a job if he doesn’t win. But I guess it’s only a couple of years before he can sue the FNSB to get rehired.

    • ibwilliamsi says:

      I assume that the bracelets were those little paper thingies with the word “Murkowsky” written in black on them, or something similarly unobtrusive. I humbly disagree with your conclusion about them. You can take your voter’s pamphlet into the booth. You can take a pre-voted test ballot into the booth. You can take handwritten notes into the booth. If you want to write the candidate’s name on your hand, that’s ok too so long as you aren’t waving it in other people’s faces. Little bracelets with the name spelled correctly should be ok so long as they aren’t obvious campaign buttons worn for everyone else to see.

  25. Califpat says:

    Let me see…..Watch paint dry or watch vote counting……. This so hard! They are both so exciting and spirit lifting that it is going to take me a a little while longer to contemplate on this…. Sheesh!!!!

  26. Desa Jacobsson says:

    The headline should have read, Miller Refudiates Ballots.

    I think I know what that trail of smoke was in California…it was McQuittyPants in another attempt at sky writing. The smoke trailing was caused by her quitting in midspelling. She didn’t know how to spell, Refudiate Joe! and gave up.

    Who went with Miller to Juneau? Did the Drop Zone Crazy Cops go? How about Baby Eddie and that wife beater christian guy? Oh….none of them can count…. Will they cuff the counters? Will they cuff the press? Will they “affect an arrest?” Will any “preyer warriors” be there? Will they prey for votes?

    McQuittyPants can’t be there to supervise the ballot refudiation. She’s too busy researching the economy on her cement slab. I bet in her attempt to appear as an intellectual, she will jiggle a ruebics cube, peel the numbers off when Joe McGuinness isn’t peeping tom her and shout, ” I did it! Look! The colors are in line!”

  27. ibwilliamsi says:

    I’m sorry – they want to count the votes? And he’s suing? Where have I heard this story before? A couple of times…

    • Desa Jacobsson says:

      ibwilliamsi and Firecracker, I just couldn’t resist this:

      Hey, McQuittyPants and all those that supported this guy, how’s that votie county thing workin’ out for ya’?

  28. Firecracker says:

    And I thought that I would just have another boring Wednesday. But nay now I can watch ballot counting!!!! It might be fun if vaguely bearded one is fuming around the room and grinding his jaws (sort of). Let’s get ready to RUMBLE!!

    • Alaska Pi says:

      you go !
      so far all the semi bearded one seems to be doing is filing suits or whining about what a burden it is that he might have to have observers in the capital of the state he proposes to represent …

  29. May be paint drying, but it’s the gears of democracy and we should ALL be watching!

    I’d love to know, however, why the hell the ballots had to be moved — and dropped out of sight and possible secure chain of custody — from Anchorage to Juneau in order to count the write-ins. They were already in Anchorage, were they not? Why not just count them there?

    Makes no sense. Unless it does.

    • Firecracker says:

      It was my understanding even before election day that the ballots would be counted in Juneau if a count was to have to take place. The Division of Elections must be one of the few state agencies that still gets to reside in the state capital and has not been moved to Anchorage (YET).

      • AC says:

        Juneau is the state Capitol, Fairbanks is seat for the State University system, and Anchorage is where the money and lobbyists live.

    • InJuneau says:

      The Division of Elections is based in Juneau, and this is where ALL statewide counting of absentee ballots occurs, always. THIS is where the Div. of Elections staff who are responsible for doing the counting live.

    • Pinwheel says:

      These other answers are also correct. In addition, a very old “treaty, international agreement” dictates that somewhere south of 59(0)30′ is the legally recognized boundary of Alaska. This is not a conspiracy theory. Agreement has never been rescinded or overcome by the Statehood Act (or compact). It’s why we have Juneau as the state capital, and why election results, for instance, must be counted in Juneau. Behind closed doors that is why the capital remains in Juneau and hasn’t been able to relocate to a place more easily accessible for the vast majority of the state’s population.

      Some people will argue that the economy of all of Southeast will crumble if the capital should be moved. Probably it would only be the economy of Juneau. Has anyone noticed how much less expensive it is in southcentral vs southeast? Many state departments are increasing their presence in Anchorage. What we don’t see is redundancy, duplication of effort in Juneau, or is the duplication in southcentral?

      Even before BP and Alyeska have to shut down the pipeline we’d better tighten our belts.

      I do think it is curious that no one is commenting on this disastrous internal report from BP about the condition of NorthSlope facilities, and the cavalier attitude posed by BP about their own report. And currently the leaders of the gasline project have been discontinued by the Gov elect. Who is in charge? Who will track the results of the “Open Seasons”? Come on Alaska, how much of this stuff are we going to still take lying down?

      • Alaska Pi says:

        It’s duplication in Southcentral, Pinwheel…
        While we in Juneau are used to the “closed doors ” argument it still rankles.
        Alaskans have better ability to track their state government, esp during session, than most states but the myth persists that we don’t.
        There are no closed doors here…

    • Alaska Pi says:

      The ballots were not all ever in ANC- they were in communities all over Alaska, wherever people cast their write-in votes.
      While the Div of Elections may be kinda shaky on some other things this go around, they have had 50 years of practise getting ballots to the state capital safely.

  30. Keaaukane says:

    Say what you want about Joe Miller, I really admire the way he is single handily trying to keep the Yasser Arafat three day stubble beard alive. I haven’t seen such sartorial heroism since Pete Rose gave his all trying to make sure the Moe Howard haircut would never die.

  31. Rick says:

    Letter of the Law Joe needs to be prosecuted for his illegal computer use and his illegal detaining of a reporter. Also his poaching and probably his tax evasion. I mean if we’re going to follow the letter of the law……..

    • nswfm says:

      You are right, but I’m not going to hold my breath. This is Alasssska we are talking about, $P’s Alasssska with her appointees throughout the land, people cowering in fear from the Palin/Heath Mafia, etc.

      Here’s hoping you don’t end up with Miller as your Senator.

      • Pinwheel says:

        Curious you mention “Heath”. Rep. Heath Schuler (sp?) WNC is DINO I think. Western NC is pretty progressive, or at least it used to be. However, this guy is anti-choice and needs to be kept from minority leadership in the House.

        • GoI3ig says:

          Heath is Sarah Palin’s maiden name.

          • Smokey Mountain Blue says:

            I do not believe there is a Palin connection. Heath is a blue dog dem, and he is saying what he thinks will get him re-elected, which obviously it did. He only has one term behind him and as we like to say in these parts, he is still wet behind the ears.

        • Smokey Mountain Blue says:

          I have been watching Mr. Heath. I am in TN and he is just across the state line in NC. My husband and I contributed to him in his first campaign, but not for his re-election. The best line I saw was that he was about as good a congressman as he was an NFL quarterback. Not Very! This article seemed to indicate that he had less than a snowball’s chance, and I believe that.

      • sam hall says:

        This comment is unfornately true for certain ones in Alaska ..thankfully as proven by Mudflats and
        their comment people..not all Alaskans. Keep up the good work..and let as you do so well..
        Alaskans know the real truths of situations..also this all needs national publicity..which you are
        also getting…people in all of the states in these times..so much is intertwined..need to know the
        exact truths of what is actually for all the people of the USA and only…a political ploy.. ie
        Palin,, Miller etc. and their ilk.

    • MizzR says:

      I’m familiar with one AK case precedent: Grimm v. Wagoner (9/19/2003) sp-5737. What are the others?

      Otherwise, experts have said that Alaska, with its relatively high percentage of Natives who do not speak English as a first language, is governed by the Voting Rights Act. So Miller’s suit is bound to fall at the first hurdle in state or federal court.

      Miller, Van Flein and the NRSCC know this – so why bring the suit? Publicity stunt? That must be it. A publicity stunt which will cost Alaska money and waste the time of the election officials. To what purpose? To intimidate? Or just sour grapes, to get back at the Board of Elections for some perceived bias?

      • Pinwheel says:

        I think that is a false premise. The Voting Rights Law is pretty clear and has been employed for 45+ years. There is a reason that Alaska is still a circumstance requiring close attention. There may well be valid consideration. I wonder if the Federal Court will act/respond.

      • Mickey7 says:

        In MN, Coleman’s constant suits effectively delayed the certification of a winner for 8 months–meaning Franken went unseated for 8 months of his term. The Republicans considered that a win and Miller is no doubt going to try to do the same thing Plus, here they are now pointing back to all of the suits (even though they lost them) as evidence of election fraud. The pile-on has already started here in the governor’s race recount. The Dem Secretary of State who oversees the election recount mentioned in an interview with the local Fox affiliate that their office ‘was prepared’ to handle the recount (it is, after all, their job) and the Fox reporter jumped on that as if he was confessing to fraud. Really ugly already.

    • Ladybirddeb says:

      Well said! Is there still anyone out there who doesn’t see what an unprincipled, transparent scumbag he is? If he’s looking to slime his way to “victory” by insisting that any ballots with the slightest misspelling of Murkowski’s name be thrown out, then he is clearly demonstrating his disdain for democracy and his total disregard for the will of the people of Alaska. It’s disgusting.

    • Fisher says:

      “Miller has filed a federal lawsuit, seeking to bar the state from counting ballots that do not meet the standards set out in law.”

      How’s that ‘state rights’ thing working out for you there Mr. Miller. The very big government he wishes to neuter Miller nows calls on to rescue him from a preceived injustice. So glad I vote my values and not his fears.

  32. It’s not so bad. Remember the Franken/Coleman ballot recount? I would hope everyone remembers what we got out of that, besides a Franken victory.

    • taupe in fargo says:

      As one who was an impartial recount observer in 2008 and again this year (today) in Minnesota’s post-election review), I can tell you our state got a lot out of the experience. Our process is fair and transparent with solid systems from the Secretary of State’s office down to the rural townships where balloting is done. FYI — Minnesota’s recount in the governor’s race begins 11/29. Dayton, the Democrat, is ahead by 8,800 votes in a state where the Republicans took both the state house and state senate. The margin is just within the 1/2 of 1% requirement for the recount so… stay tuned, we’re doin’ it again. Hopefully this one won’t take 6 months to resolve.

  33. Kris C says:

    I’m starting to hope the bearded one wins. The Republicans can seat him next to Alan West

  34. Califpat says:

    Yikes!!!!

  35. GreatGrey says:

    Oops, failed to dot the i, rejected.

    It’s gonna be a long couple of days.

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