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Joe Miller's Lawsuit – Highlight Reel

This Joe Miller lawsuit thing may seem to be getting complicated, so here’s a (hopefully) simple breakdown and a “highlight reel” of most of the important things you need to know.  It’s not every little thing, but it’s enough to have a reasonable discussion at the watercooler without people thinking you’ve become an election wonk. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.  Heck, some of my best friends are election wonks.

OK, fine. I’M an election wonk.  But here’s the dill (as our former governor would say):

Write-in candidate Lisa Murkowski spent a lot of time focusing on spelling this election cycle.  One of her commercials even took the form of a spelling bee, with Lisa herself as one of the audience members clapping for the little children who spelled her name right.  Joe Miller’s latest suit, filed today against Lt. Governor Craig Campbell, and the Alaska Division of Elections puts correct spelling vs. voter intent in a head-to-head match up that the courts must now decide.

In the suit, Miller cites Alaska Statute 15.15.360 (a) (11), (b) which states that a vote “may not be counted” unless the name of the candidate is written on the ballot “as it appears on the [candidate’s] write-in declaration of candidacy.”  The statute emphasizes that the requirement is “mandatory,” and there are “no exceptions” to it.

Miller accuses the state, by deciding to include in its official count for Lisa Murkowski, ballots that were not properly spelled, of creating the very “exceptions” that the law expressly forbids.  It goes on to target the head of the Division of Elections, Gail Fenumiai, specifically labeling her a “super voter” who has somehow been given authority to count or dismiss ballots “based on nothing more than a vague, amorphous, and unavoidable subjective ‘intent of the voter’ standard – with no specific rules, restrictions, or guidelines to help confine her discretion.”

(A style point for using the word “amorphous”)

But spelling issues is not all this is about.  The complete 21-page lawsuit can be read HERE, and it’s actually quite fascinating and a pretty good read as far as 21-page lawsuits go.  I made it through the whole thing in one sitting, but I did forget to blink.

Miller’s attorneys also say that there was “arbitrary, disparate, and discriminatory procedures regarding the treatment of ballots that have been rejected as invalid by automated tally machines, giving certain voters an extra opportunity to have their ballots personally reviewed by Division personnel – and ultimately counted – if they attempted to vote for a write-in candidate, but not if they attempted to vote for a candidate whose name was pre-printed on the ballot.”

What does that mean?  Well, for instance, if a write-in ballot for Lisa Murkowski was initially rejected by the machine for some reason (let’s say the oval wasn’t filled in adequately or there was an extra stray mark somewhere on the ballot), it received an additional eyeball review from the Division of Elections when they reviewed all the write-in votes.  Then, after looking at it, they might decide to count it after all, even after the machine rejected it.  Any incomplete ovals or stray marks that invalidated ballots for Miller (or McAdams) that were initially rejected by the machine would not get the benefit of a second look. That means that a write-in vote was more likely to be counted than a vote for someone whose name was on the ballot, given that both of them had the same initial flaw, like a stray mark. Miller argues that this procedure actually disenfranchises the voters for Miller and McAdams, and is unfair.

In addition, Miller states that the “Defendants’ policies, standards, and procedures violate state law, and will result in legitimate, legally cast votes being either effectively nullified or cancelled out by votes cast in violation of the law or, for certain votes rejected by automated tally machines, arbitrarily discarded altogether without being afforded the same opportunity for individualized review afforded to write-in ballots that similarly had been rejected by an automated tally machine. These policies also resulted in protest votes, that were cast in order to mock the write-in candidate, being counted as votes in favor of the candidate, directly contrary to the “voter intent.”

(Ah, the protest votes… Rumors abounded during the count that a vote for ‘Lesa Murcowshit’ was counted for Murkowski.  Ballots for Frank Murkowski and Nancy Murkowski, parents of the candidate were apparently also cast.)

There were apparently other problems as well. “In numerous precints, the election register records for the majority of voters clearly show that they either presented proper identification or were presonally known to an election official.  According to those election registers, however, numerous other voters in those precincts neither presented identification nor were personally known to election officials, yet apparently were permitted to vote anyway, without being given questioned ballots.” Cited is statute 15.15.225 which does not permit those ballots to be counted as valid.  Voters sign the book to signify that they have shown the poll worker their valid ID, or the poll worker signifies that s/he personally knows and can vouch for the identity of the voter.

And on it goes… “Defendants have violated AS 15.15.360 (a)(10) by accepting as valid and counting write-in votes in which the candidate’s name apparently was not written on the ballot by the voter.” “In several precincts, the handwriting on many or all of the write-in ballots appears to be from the same person, or the same small group of 2 to 4 people.  The Division nevertheless accepted as valid and counted the write-in votes from these precincts.”

As it stands right now, Miller is  more than 10,000 votes behind Lisa Murkowski, who has declared herself the winner in the race. Miller has challenged about 8,000 of those votes because of the reasons stated in the lawsuit.

Murkowski has stated that voter intent should be the indicator in how ballots are counted, particularly in a state where for many English is not the primary language spoken in the household.

We should know more about the timing for a court session by Friday. The election is scheduled to be certified next week.  What will actually come to pass?  Stay tuned.

Comments

comments

Comments
51 Responses to “Joe Miller's Lawsuit – Highlight Reel”
  1. Dagian says:

    By DAN JOLING
    The Associated Press
    Tuesday, November 23, 2010; 11:25 PM

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Alaska’s lieutenant governor on Tuesday discounted allegations by Republican U.S. Senate candidate Joe Miller that elections officials unlawfully interpreted voter intent on write-in ballots.

    Lt. Gov. Craig Campbell, who oversees the state Division of Elections, issued a statement in defense of elections officials, claiming Miller’s lawsuit threatens to cloud the vote.

    “Mr. Miller continues to level allegations against the state of Alaska which are baseless, but if left unanswered, I believe could make members of the public lose trust in a lawful, reliable and consistent process,” Campbell said.

    Miller campaign spokesman Randy DeSoto said in an e-mail response that Campbell continues to ignore state statutes.

    “The Lt. Governor has two job duties: protect the seal of the State of Alaska and conduct elections in accordance with state law,” DeSoto said. “He has miserably failed in his second job duty.”

    Incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski embarked on a write-in campaign after she was defeated by Miller in the August Republican primary. The Associated Press called the race for Murkowski last week.

    She now has a 10,328-vote lead over Miller, a total that includes 8,159 ballots contested by Miller observers.

    Miller has claimed election officials began their hand count of write-in ballots a week earlier than scheduled, and that he did not have time to adequately train volunteer observers to challenge ballots.

    Campbell said Miller has repeatedly attacked the state, claiming Alaska law requires the written-in name to be spelled perfectly and legibly.

    “I do not agree,” Campbell said. “While Mr. Miller claims that the state has gone outside its jurisdiction by using voter intent in counting ballots, we continue to point to various examples of case law throughout Alaska history, that show where the state courts have erred on the side of enfranchising voters when their intent is clear.”

    Campbell said it’s disappointing that Miller continues to try to disenfranchise voters, especially considering that his campaign observers were present and they actively participated throughout the write-in counting process.

    DeSoto, however, said Campbell has ignored state law by creating exceptions. Campbell argued in another lawsuit two months ago that lists of write-in candidates should be provided at polling places so voters could spell Murkowski’s name correctly and have their votes count, DeSoto said. Campbell is taking an opposite position now that the election is over, DeSoto said.

    “The Lt. Governor wonders why the people in this state question the legitimacy of the election? Had he done his job, and followed state law, the Miller Campaign would not have needed to seek court assistance,” DeSoto said.

    Miller sued two weeks ago in federal court seeking an injunction to stop the counting of write-in ballots that did not spell Murkowski’s name exactly as it appeared on a declaration of candidacy. Miller modified the lawsuit last week, seeking to block certification of the results.

    U.S. District Court Judge Ralph Beistline said Miller’s challenge raised serious legal issues but was a matter for a state court. Beistline granted a temporary injunction halting certification of the Senate election with the stipulation that Miller would take the case to the state court.
    ————————————-

    I suspect that this isn’t really resolved yet. Mudpups?

  2. BS says:

    If the Nenana Ice Classic can count the bets by hand, why don’t we hire them to count the votes by hand? It would create seasonal jobs that people didn’t count on – but would be happy to do. Win-win.

  3. marcus2 says:

    I don’t think even Homer Simpson would have contested these results, but you go Joe. Doh!!!!

  4. Polarbear says:

    I will wager a dollar that if the State judge certifies the election, due to its inevitable math and the need for citizens to be represented in a timely way, and then still allows Joe Miller to challenge Division of Elections practices, then Miller will not spend another iota of time on it.

  5. Zyxomma says:

    Giggling at AKM not blinking. Not amused at all by the Alaskan election. I hope you get things repaired, for all elections in the future. I hope Scott McAdams has a great future in AK politics. I hope, I hope, I hope.

  6. 24owls says:

    So Joe who did not want to answer questions or be upfront with the Alaskian people about his intentions IF he was elected to the office, now wants the Alaskian voter to be absolutely clear of who they want in the office. See, he can be as evasive, vague, non commutitve, have a questionable history in previous jobs or how he claimed taxes in Alaska, slimmy as he wants be but hey – you Alaskian voters have to know how exactly spell Lisa’s name and fill in that oval exactly to the edges of the lines and you have to be perfect in your voting procedure and the officials have to be perfect, and the rulings have to be perfect and everything must be perfect except for Joe. Intent of the voters versus exactness of the law – either way Joe you lose. I think you owe the Alaskan voters an apology and you owe the state of Alaska money.

  7. Bill in Baltimore says:

    I think the sore loser is Murkcowshit – didn’t she lose the primary ? Who’s really disenfranchising the voters of Alaska ? Who is actually the one dragging this thing on and on and on ? Methinks is Murky.

    Gail also accepted Muskisk = Murkowski !

    How about Murkowski with a sad face ? What’s the voter’s intent there ???

  8. Interestinger and interestinger. More interesting by the day…

  9. gens says:

    If its the law its the law, however, I believe every vote should count regardless.

    If LoJoe wants to play it this way and BTW, way to go on not wasting tax payer money of BS law suites and being a petty loser….

    Have the election board, display a tally of all variations

    Murkowski – 1 – Child in the spelling bee got it right, so we’ll assume one parent did too.
    Murkski – 1200
    merky – 4000
    Mski – 10000
    bRian Moose – 500000

    So on and so on, then let the board decide the winner, publish name variation count data with all available media sources. If it goes to court, intent can be proven, that is if MucowSki won by a decent margin and whether or not the law is a little fuzzy here, just about any judge would throw the case out. Off hand I can’t think of the legal defense term…plus the public would have direct non-spin news access to factual vote data.

  10. beth says:

    “In numerous precints, the election register records for the majority of voters clearly show that they either presented proper identification or were presonally known to an election official. According to those election registers, however, numerous other voters in those precincts neither presented identification nor were personally known to election officials, yet apparently were permitted to vote anyway, without being given questioned ballots.” [emphasis added. b] — from the above article

    What? You only have to “be personally known” to a poll worker/election official to vote in Alaska? Heck, the lady in line behind me at the 2 Nov elections should have been in AK – she had no local identification (picture, or othewise), but she went to the same church, on occasion, as one of the poll workers and was “personally known” by that worker.

    The only picture ID she had was her Alabama driver’s license.

    Seems she was staying with her mother for a couple of weeks — as she did 2 or 3 times every year–, and since it was election day across the nation, she figured she’d vote here. In Georgia. She was “personally known” by a poll worker but was still turned away for, get this: NOT being a state of Georgia resident. Go figure.

    …had she been in Alaska… Incredible. Utterly mind-blowing. beth.

    • Alaska Pi says:

      This is a serious allegation but is only an allegation at this point.
      It is the issue that this may have happened without the ballots going into questioned ballot envelopes which is most pertinent.
      Questioned ballots go through a certification process to decide if the voter really exists and is registered.
      It is reality that in most communities here people do know each other.
      I voted a questioned ballot a few years ago when I moved across town . While I changed my address/registration in plenty of time and my reg card was updated by Div of Elections I didn’t end up on the rolls of my new precinct when it came time to vote. I’ve known one of the poll workers for years and was aquainted with the rest.
      I voted. The precinct worker/friend filled out the cover sheet on the envelope certifying I was known to her along with my voter ID number and ADL number and sealed my ballot inside for the certification -of – eligibility- to -vote folks to check.
      IF this process was bypassed something stinks indeed… waiting to see if there is proof.
      Waiting.

  11. AKjah says:

    Mr Miller may be looking for the “Hail Mary”. What we have here is a questioning of the Alaska voting system. Now it appears to me this needs some deep looking into.

    It seems obvious our opti-scan system is flawed,note past elections.

    The chain of oversight is worse than a grocery store.

    I think it’s time we leave these machines and return to a hand count.
    What with only 150000-200000 votes we don’t need machines.

    What we need is a transparent chain of custody.

    What we need is our reps in the state government to fix this.

    Every district gets so many ballots.
    People sign the register for their ballot.
    All ballots signed or not are returned to central poll.
    Count all.
    All numbers should add up.

    It’s up to us to write our reps and get them to work on this. They wont do it unless we press for it.
    This is boots on the ground democracy. My love to you all.

  12. beth says:

    I’m not an AK resident (or voter) — my only interest is this election is that the winner will be a US Senator for 6 years, will be making laws for MY country for 6 years. For that reason, I do NOT want Miller to be one of the one hundred — he is too, well, just too [insert any one of the multiple ick-characteristics, (moral, ethical, credibility, etc.) here] to be in the Senate.

    That said, I believe Miller is right in bringing suit against the ADoE and I believe McAdams/the Alaska Democratic Party/the DNC should join him in his efforts. The minute the ADoE allowed/permitted ‘the lists’ to be handed out to voters at the polling stations, and in some locations, allowed ‘the lists’ to be posted *in* the voting booths!, the entire Senate race was compromised.

    The mere fact that the ADoE sanctioned ‘the list’ to be used as an [over-zealous!] “assist” for voters, was an implicit statement/acknowlegement *by them* that the names of candidates for Senate *printed on the ballot* were NOT what/who they [the ADoE] thought the voter should be voting for. By ADoE poll-workers handing voters ‘the list’ (and/or posting it in the booth) they were telling the voters, in a not-too-subtle way, that Alaska would do better IF they voted for the write-in candidate.
    Electioneering *and* voter intimidation in one fell swoop…*by* the ADoE.

    To my way of thinking, ALL early-votes cast for the Senate seat at polling stations where ‘exceptional’ “assistance” was given the voters (bidden–if asked for, or not–posted in the booth) should be tossed out. ALL of them are tainted…and ALL by the ADoEs doing. Or, at least, by the ADoEs sanctioning of poll-workers being ‘overly helpful’ and/or the ADoE being awfully darned slow to make any corrections to ‘the lists’ misuse/abuse.

    Tossing out –for cause!– so many votes *will* disinfranchise a whole bunch of voters. That wouldn’t be very good. At all. But what to do with vote results that were clearly obtained under conditions that clearly violated the rules and regulations for elections? Vote results that are clearly tainted?

    The *ONLY* solution I can see, is to void the whole Senate vote and hold a special election to determine who will be Senator. Set the rules BEFORE the ballot takes place, and stick by those rules. Period. Have the same set of players [candidates], but have a CLEAN voting process. Yes, it’ll be expensive, but the price of having a Senator the citizens did NOT intend to vote for, is even more so.

    The thing of it is: McAdams might still not win a clean election BUT if he and the Dems sit this one out, if they *don’t* join in on the lawsuit, the perception will always be that Miller and the Palinite-Tea Partiers were/are ‘the only ones who stood up for all Alasssskans against the good-ol-boy business-as-usual machine, Miller and the P-TPers are the only ones who care about rill Amuricans, and yada-yada-yada.’ The Dems are being handed a golden opportunity here to help sew up votes for a long time to come…I hope they take it! beth.

    –Does anyone know how the mail-in/absentee votes for Murkowski were counted? Were they run through the machines, too, or were they all hand counted? b.

  13. Lee323 says:

    Joe Miller’s beard is amorphous. (A style point is deducted.)

  14. Alaska Pi says:

    This is something I want to see played out in court.
    At some level, Mr Miller is doing what so many say… shaking up a bottle of soda pop and letting fly … hoping some of the sticky mess sticks where he wants it to. I find myself wondering when the fruitloop will sue Alaskan voters themselves regarding his dashed dreams…
    At another level, I am deeply uncomfortable with the flap over “voter intent” v “no exceptions”.
    I think we owe it to ourselves to sort this out publically… even though it would be nice to just be shed of Mr Miller.

    • Martha Unalaska Yard Sign says:

      I think we are getting a little proxy benefit from Poll Fixer Joe’s ego and his PAC. That’s a nice change! I’ll take it. The DOE needs to answer these questions. I don’t have to align myself with Joe in any way to wish this because his intentions are slippery and evil, while mine are completely snowy pure.

      Someone should sue the DOE every election until they get it. There has not been any forthcoming explanations for the several elections’ worth of questions. Staff and administration have not been doing the integrity of the Division any favors. I’m still ticked about the debacle of the wolf initiative and the intent of the Lieutenant Gov to confuse the ballot measure in order to facilitate its failure. As far as I’m concerned, get it all out in the open. Joe’s ambition can pound sand. I want an election system which I can have faith in. Thanks Joe!

      • Moose Pucky says:

        Still ticked about that wolf initiative also. Dang, that was a sorry one. And who was Lt. Gov. at the time? Sean Parnell.

    • Pinwheel says:

      Its just a guess, but the whole spelling thing relates back to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in which language is supposed not to be an issue . SOA is required to have interpreters for each of the local regions. What is not clear is if interpreters are required for write=in counts.

      There are so many opportunities within these claims.

  15. Martha Unalaska Yard Sign says:

    Once again, I find myself saying “I’m not a fan of conspiracy theories, but…”

    The protest vote idea which Miller and Van Attorney squealed about sounded at first like typical lawyer come-up-with-anything-you-can-just-make-noise speak. Now it feels orchestrated. Either some loyal Miller voters decided to do it and he knew about it, or it was a planned thing all along to force the issue. All behind the scenes and secret of course, like the sneaky political savvy Miller himself displayed at his former workplace while compromising a poll.

    Miller is just too slimy – he’s a caricature of the greasy headed used car salesman. That said, I can’t believe anything he says and immediately wonder what he’s up to. The only rules he’s gonna follow are the ones he’s authored and mangled beyond recognition.

    These are the people the religious dominionists are putting out there to take over the sane world (in their wildest dreams!), or should I say, their half baked plan to do just that. That’s why they all seem alike. Palin, Miller, Angle, O’Donnell. So far we haven’t seen any smart ones (crafty, yes – smart, no) unless they are the ones smart enough to stay under cover until…until…the idiot ones do exactly what now again? Their plan is so confusing, their leaders so lacking in good character as to be laughed off – it just might work. Like Confuse-A-Cat from Monty Python.

    Nah, just kidding. I think each one of them should be appreciated as the growing pains that they are. Alaska is a young state, and the US is a young country. We have a lot to learn, but we have a lot of potential – also, too. Each of these whack jobs is a test.

  16. marguita mixxe says:

    Joe Miller is a sore loser.
    I am sick to death of this whole thing and would hope the courts will see through his crap and tell him to go away.
    I am not sure what he is trying to do. Demented and his croonies need to stay out our politics but I do realize that Joe needs some money what with the 8 kids and no job. SICKENING!

    • dogrowdi says:

      you think J.M. is a baddie!..lasso lisa is worse. we who put our gear in scott’s boat, will watch lisa take the native nation down! but..she will keep up her promises to DC lobby-condoms. ah the destruction of the mid-class! heak @ 62 i should try out for dancing with the ZARS!..dull-minded voters always cause voter fatigue..

  17. blue_in_AK says:

    I’m definitely not a Joe Miller fan, of course, but I believe that his lawsuit has a certain amount of merit, if for no other reason than to bring these arbitrary decisions of the Division of Elections to the attention of the court. It WAS “hinky” for them to change up the rules, or make them up as they went along, so close to the date of the election. And I’m still concerned about the accuracy of the Deibold GEMS. I don’t think I can bring myself to read all of that suit, but did he mention anything at all about that.

    I want the number of votes counted by the machine to equal the number of votes cast.

    • Pinwheel says:

      I believe this is the bottom line. I grew up in the Midwest thru the 50’s and 60’s. A frequent election day comment by election workers (my parents, among others) was vote early and often. I remember my father saying each election from ’52 to ’70, need to wait for the graveyard vote.

      From what I’ve been reading it appears obvious the Alas “registered voter list” needs to be purged. I believe it is time for our Legislature to get involved. Someone has to be a grown up in Alaska State government. I believe the legislative body has the responsibility. Each member can go back to their district and review it’s documents. Given the equal position of the Legislative Body, the Alaska Court System and the Administrative Branch ((elected)) and the ambiguity of existing statues, there are really lots apparent that our AK legislators can do.

      But wait!! Now I compose as a vice chair of a polling place in Anchorage on 8/24 and 11/2 2010. There really are several places within the voting process that could allow for abuse. Each of the reports about which I have read are certainly possible, especially if there is a crush of potential voters.
      Now here in lies the rub. Very old poll workers (this is not intended as a discrimitory reference, I’ m 62.) may have either check the ‘known’ column or in the hussle not checked anything, or not even asked to see.

      Then there is the thing about the scanner machine. Some ballots in multi used sleeves don’t go thru this machine the first time. Instructions to poll workers is to retrieve that ballot and help to direct the ballot thru the machine. Given the reported history of these machines, who can be sure that any of those ballots weren’t already read by this machine.

      I lived in America from 2001 until 2007. I have lived in Alaska since 1991, have family and property here. While living in NOVA I had a chance to cast some good votes. When I left the polling place I had a receipt from the electronic machine. This was to give me confidence that my vote was counted and I had a reference # to use.

      At the AK primary, 8/24/10 , I cast a ‘questioned ballot’. As indicated in the small print I received a letter from the Div of Election that my ballot had been counted. Turnout in the primary was lite. Turnout in the general was 100% more than the primary, in the precinct at which I worked.

      I am 99% confident that we returned valid information. But given the fluidity of the rules, who knows.

      I want this mess straightened out. I want each vote to count every time!!!

      nem

    • Sarafina says:

      The Deibold machines need to examined and thrown out if the numbers don’t match. This seems so obvious to me I can’t believe any non-moron wouldn’t have fixed it years ago.

      If hand-counting is doable in Alaska, it should be done until accurate machines are available. I live in Texas right now, and know about hinky elections. But fixing the vote counting machines is just basic good sense.

  18. Ripley in CT says:

    First, handing AKM some Visine. You need to blink, silly!

    Next, at the last line, my head played that TV cliffhanger music… Duhn Duhn Duuuhhhnnnnn!!!

  19. Cindy says:

    Miller is oh-so-lawyerly about this–claiming to be upholding a high standard for Alaskan voters. But this whole “correct spelling” thing smacks of Jim Crow to me. It’s more than just trying to weasel an election away from Lisa; it’s disenfranchising a whole group of Alaskan voters–by what amounts to an after-the-fact literacy test.

    • North of the Range says:

      I agree. Requiring perfect spelling when intent is clear to all the reasonable people in the room does smack a little of the heavy handed literacy test. Some votes were challenged based on handwriting styles, too. Both of those things amount to disenfranchisement based on literacy standards.

      It may be that the state court actually strikes down the part of the law that says “no exceptions” because it conflicts with federal law and the constitution. Wouldn’t that be ironic? On the other hand, the JMer’s might be intending to set up a little side trip to the US Supreme Court, if they can get there, as a consolation prize.

      • Pinwheel says:

        However, AKM even had a post about this in October?? violations of the Civil Rights Act by the State of Alaska. Vioations can be ameliorated by a request for a waiver to the US DOJ. SOA never bothered to submit their request in a timely manner. That is a Federal Case. The one for which we await a decision. Then there’s the one about the printed “list”.

        I stand with those who want to use this election to clarify and/or determine election practice based on law.

        • North of the Range says:

          I’m not sure we are talking about the same thing. I hope I was not misunderstood to be implying that we shouldn’t clarify our election practices. We should. They stink. I think the 2004 Senate results were a GEMS fantasy. Other statewide elections might have been, too, and there’s no mechanism for checking. What I was suggesting though, is that there is an element in our statute that may be too strict for dealing with write-ins, and it might get overturned because of this case.

          I’m not an attorney, but the way I understand this messy scenario is that the federal case, which the Miller people filed during the count, was suspended until after the case is heard in state court, per the federal judge’s instructions. That’s where we are today– the Miller folks just made their state court filing. So the state court will looks at the state law for this case and could potentially (this is where my speculation comes in) find that “no exceptions” rule invalid. It’s possible that they could do that based on state precedent, or on federal case law if it applies to this situation. That’s where we hit the limits of my legal understanding, but that was what I was getting at.

          Anyway, that’s just one of the many questions, like the ones you raised, that should all be examined.

      • BS says:

        OMG the Supreme Court – you could be right. With the make-up of the court, they could accept the case (I don’t know how that happens). NO – I can’t think about it. I don’t need to borrow trouble.

    • mudkitten says:

      It looks like a literacy test to me, too. And on top of that, his system of requiring perfect spelling would penalize candidates with a long or difficult to spell name like Murkowski and favor candidates with a simple name like Miller.

  20. CO almost native says:

    I am no fan of Miller, but there have been irregularities in Alaskan elections in the past- maybe the court can sort this out.

    I also want to know how the Alaskans Standing Together PAC raised $1.2 million in such a short time, and none donated came from federal contractors. Hmmm…

    • Alaska Pi says:

      The Regionals use subsidiaries for federal contracting- they are relying on the idea that the parent company is not a federal contractor.

      • Pinwheel says:

        And they “hide” the cash profits to the parent company as necessary “in-kind” requirements for… This allows them to use funds, under the radar, for a Board’s interest. ANC’s don’t raise money from shareholders necessarily. Given the pressure on Village Corps and Tribes, some may have secumbed. That I’m not so sure about. I do remember back in the 90’s when it was reported that ASRC offered snowmobile fuel for votes.

  21. WhichTruth says:

    Let’s just have a total hand re-count and be done with it.

  22. vyccan says:

    Fond of Miller or not, those sound like valid issues that should be settled, certainly before the next election. I particularly see the reasoning behind the one where machine discarded votes for Murks get counted in, while those for the other two do not. Wouldn’t it be SOMETHING if it turned out that Lisa actually loss due to bogus votes?!! [Yeah,yeah….just a dream. Sigh. Even though I don’t live in AK, the way she pushed the laws around bothered me.]

    • As Shannyn and AKM have pointed out in other posts, there are disparities within the system that need to be addressed. We are fortunate in a way that Miller is so persistent in that it may help resolve some of these issues which the Democratic party has tried to bring to light in the past. I certainly would be shocked and saddened if Miller were to win, but it would be interesting to see if McAdams has more votes hiding out somewhere as well. It struck me as awfully odd that his final vote count was almost identical to the polling numbers for the next to the last poll before the election. The last poll showed his numbers increasing so I would have expected it to be a bit higher in the final vote count.

  23. Bretta says:

    Miller’s just using the ruse of suing to keep the stoopids sending him money – then he can pay himself out of those funds. It is laundering, at best, a fine form of grifting.

  24. Hope says:

    I wish miller would let this go. Even if they tossed out 8,000 votes, isn’t she going to win? At some point the Republican party has to let it go, you won.

  25. Cassie Jeep says:

    Thanks, AKM, but what I really see is this: Joe Miller doesn’t like the outcome and will do anything in his power—including depriving Alaskans of their representation–to get his own way!

    Good Heavens! He gives new depth of meaning to ‘sore loser”.

    Rumpelstiltskin needs to face reality: he lost. There is always a next time, but for now, he lost.

    • Bretta says:

      I think that’s a good point: deny Alaska our representation.
      Just look at DeMint throwing money and his imagined power to try to defeat Murkowski; to what purpose?
      To deny Alaska at least one Senator. I read today DeMint hated Ted Stevens and hates Lisa Murkowski.

  26. Laurie says:

    Thanks for the explanation. I understand that Miller is using the statute to argue why some write in votes should not be counted, but I remember before the election reading that the courts in Alaska had a precedent that voter intent should be considered.

    When all is said and done, I wonder how much money will be spent on this election.

    • Pinwheel says:

      As an Alaskan I’d like to see how this drama plays out. Alaska voters may or may not get something better than what we have now.

    • Concerned Too says:

      I, as an Alaskan resident, would like to see this election settled in the correct manner.
      We have way too many so-so things when it comes to the regulations and laws of this state. Being clear and holding EVERYONE’S feet to the fire is good, no matter the $ spent!

  27. ks sunflower says:

    What a succinct and astute overview you gave us! Thank you.

  28. Lainey says:

    isn’t palin and all her cronies sore losers? they don’t know the meaning of ‘go away’!…stick a fork in yourself, you’re done!

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