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July 30, 2014

Why Won't Joe Miller Concede? (Answer: It Doesn't Matter)

Alaska’s Democratic Senator Mark Begich made a statement yesterday that was covered in Politico and the Anchorage Daily News, calling for Joe Miller to abandon his legal challenges to the U.S. Senate election that has Lisa Murkowski unofficially declared by herself and the Associated Press as the winner of the race.

“It is time for Joe Miller to put Alaska interests ahead of personal ambition and allow the state of Alaska to certify Lisa Murkowski as the winner,” Begich said. “Without both senators, Alaska’s interests will be at risk on critical issues from energy development to job creation and reducing the national debt in a way that’s fair to Alaskans.”

There’s nothing in the statement that should surprise the casual observer, assuming of course that the casual observer looks no farther than the obvious ideological political differences between Begich, Murkowski and Miller. Tally up the total votes cast for Scott McAdams (D), Murkowski (R-write in) and Miller (R Tea Party) and it’s obvious that the majority of Alaskans lie somewhere to the left of Miller and doubtless disagree with his political agenda.

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And it seems likely to our jaded minds that Miller wouldn’t be pursuing his current course if he really truly believed there was no way he could actually win, no matter how much he may protest that this is not the case.

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But even if Miller is only out to win, and using these legal challenges to do it - it doesn’t matter.

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If Miller’s legal challenges result in a hand count reconciliation of Alaska’s election, this is a good thing, regardless of Miller’s motives. And it’s not potentially a good thing just for Miller, or just for Murkowski, whichever one of them emerges victorious. It’s good for all Alaskans, including Senator Begich.
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In 2004, the Democratic Party sued the state twice for many of the same reasons Miller is citing now. But this time, the Party seems to have conveniently forgotten the principles they spouted back in 2004. In that election, the official statewide summary count for votes cast for George W. Bush in 2004 was 190,889 votes. But when you added up all the House District totals one by one, the total turned out to be 292,268 votes. Lisa Murkowski in that same election showed an official statewide summary total of 226,992 votes, but when House Districts were added up one by one, the total was only 149,446. The Division of Elections couldn’t explain it. And it gets worse. Turns out that these particular machines can be accessed by cell phone, from anywhere, and votes can be inserted telephonically into the tabulator.

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Shannyn Moore interviewed David Shoup, the attorney who sued the state on behalf of the Democratic party who explained the entire process.

If nothing comes of Miller’s challenges, and the next time it’s the Democrats who cry foul, they’ll probably stand alone. And there’s the rub. If the only ones who squawk that Alaska’s election process is flawed are the apparent losers, that’s all anyone will focus on. Sore loser. Whiner. Pathetic. Give it up.
Joe Miller was recently interviewed via telephone from Fairbanks by Neil Cavuto of Fox News talking about his legal challenges and what he hopes to gain. Emphasis in bold is mine.
Link to video HERE.


Cavuto: Calls today for Joe to go. Alaska’s Democratic Senator Mark Begich says it’s time for Joe Miller to drop his legal challenge to last month’s election. Unofficial results now show that Senator Lisa Murkowski, the winner. But Joe ain’t going anywhere. Joe Miller joining me by phone. Now, we called his opponent Lisa Murkowski. She was not available.

Joe, essentially what Senator Begich is saying is “Give it up.” You’re not. Why not?

Miller: You know, that’s just one more voice on the left saying that. Frankly, you know, I would think that Alaskans would want to make sure that the election upholds the integrity of the process. You know, as we mentioned before on your show, this is not about winning or losing. This is about making sure that the rule of law is applied, and that this changing legal standard that was suddenly applied after the election isn’t allowed to hold the day. We have a law and it needs to be followed, and at the end of the day who knows what it’s going to end up with as far as the votes go. But I think that’s important to all Alaskans, and I’m going to continue to fight on their behalf.

Mr. Miller may want to note that it’s not just “one more voice on the left” that is his problem. Voices on the right are calling for Miller to give it up, and this particular voice on the left (in addition to many others) thinks that a hand count of this election, and having clear rules in place before the voters go to the polls is a fine idea. If Mr. Miller is claiming that he is doing this for the benefit of all Alaskans, he may want to tone down the partisan rhetoric and realize that it’s not only his own supporters that need to be convinced that what he is doing, regardless of motive, is a good thing.

“The left” is also part of that “all Alaskans” on whose behalf he claims to fight. Blaming that group isn’t going to get him anywhere with public opinion. As my grandmother used to say, “you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar.”

Cavuto: Joe, right now you officially trail by 10,000 votes, and of those 10,000 I think it’s something in the vicinity of 8,000 that you’re disputing either through misspellings, or false intentions, or hard to prove. But let’s say they’re all thrown out. Now we’re down to 2,000. How do you make that up? Can you make it up? What are you waiting for?

Miller: Well, that’s a great question and that’s one that I think people need to understand a little clearer. that we really don’t know what the total number of votes undisputed are between Murkowski and I. You know, there are a couple of things at play here. One – a much more lenient standard was used in counting the votes for Senator Murkowski. She had a hand count, and we had an automated tally count. Undisputed that more votes are counted when a hand count is applied rather than an automated tally because automated tallies exclude a number of ballots. And that’s going to be in the hundreds at least, and maybe even thousands. We just simply don’t know.

In addition to that, there are a number of things that occurred during the process that disallowed us from challenging ballots that should have been challenged. So that uncontested number is actually going to go down if proper standards apply. And now we have time to prepare. You might recall that the Lt. Governor actually advanced the time for the count by over a week and that had a significant impact on our ability to move forward with the trained team to do the review necessary, and what we ended up having was a circus, effectively. And you know, I think Alaskans now expect a better process. If the court acts quickly we can get that underway. We can get the count done and Alaskans can see where this race stands and they can see the process …

Miller points out that a hand count results in more ballots being counted. What that means is that human beings, as flawed as they may be in other areas, are better vote counters than machines. Fewer people are disenfranchised when humans count the vote. More votes actually count. That means that you, regardless of your party affiliation, or who you vote for, are more likely to have your vote counted, and not tossed out for a “stray mark” or an error that has nothing to do with your intent. It may not be the popular thing to say, but I believe if more Alaskans voted for Joe Miller than anyone else, then Alaskans deserve… Joe Miller. If more Alaskans voted for Lisa Murkowski than anyone else, then they deserve Lisa Murkowski. My dog is out of the fight, but I (and you) will have future dogs in future fights.

And what about the process? Should a voter who filled in the oval and wrote in Lisa “Murcowski” have their vote counted for Lisa Murkowski? What about if someone wrote in Lisa Murkowski spelled correctly and didn’t fill in the oval? I don’t think our Founders dealt with ovals. Should that vote count? I think so, but that’s just me. Did we know ahead of time that people were bound to be completely accurate and follow all the specific rules (like ovals completely filled in) that had nothing to do with their intent? There’s a legal argument for that. And that’s why we have courts.

Do I think that everyone ought to know the rules, be clear about what counts, and follow the same standard in every election for every candidate? Yes. I’m prepared to duke it out in a big contest between the red team and the blue team and the purple team, and the green team, but I think every team has the right to a rule book. And every player has the right to know what the rules are before they decide to get on the field.

Cavuto: Are you concerned as Senator Begich pointed out that whatever your reasons, and they may be perfectly justified, Alaska stands a pretty good likelihood now of having just one senator for a while when some of the biggest issues of our time are being debated.

Miller: And I guess the question becomes – is that one extra vote going to used to continue to grow government, continue the largesse, to continue earmarks, to basically continue the fiscal destruction of the nation… and frankly I don’t think we need that. But getting more to the point I don’t think that anybody’s actually proven that there’s going to be adverse impact. Hopefully this process can be resolved quickly and before the January swearing in date. We tried to get this underway immediately, the second that the written standards were announced, the next day actually we filed suit. Incidentally the Lt. Governor even commented himself at a press conference shortly before the count or during the count that likely the issue of the standard would be resolved by the court. So, we’ve tried to move this along very quickly, but again what this is about – not personal ambition as Senator Begich would maintain, it is about making sure legal standards are applied. It is about making sure that things are done properly here in Alaska, and we’re going to continue that fight.

Will Alaska be without representation when the Senate convenes? Maybe. And before we start laying blame on Mr. Miller, or Republicans or Tea Party activists, remember that Democrats were fighting this fight six years ago. No Republicans stood up to demand an overhaul of the system. No Republicans (who have held the governorship since 2004) have cared that the Diebold Accu-Vote optical scanners we use are no longer legal in some parts of the country. California shredded thousands of them because of inaccuracies, and the fact that the machines were easily hacked.

Right now it happens to be the Republican candidate is reaping the results of his own party’s inaction in 2004. In two years, or four years, or six years, it could be the Democratic candidate who gets the short end of the stick. Will the Republicans remember this fiasco and put partisanship aside for matters of higher principle? If we solve these issues now, we won’t have to worry about that.

Alaskans with actual eyes and brains could easily be counting these couple hundred thousand ballots, and all the ballots in future elections. It’s time to hand count all ballots, every time. And it’s time to have a rule book that is clear to everyone before election day.

It isn’t either of the candidates who suffer the greatest injustice when there is no election integrity. It’s all Alaskans who do. And it’s the democratic process that does.

Comments

comments

Comments
54 Responses to “Why Won't Joe Miller Concede? (Answer: It Doesn't Matter)”
  1. Cammie says:

    Miller says: “One – a much more lenient standard was used in counting the votes for Senator Murkowski. She had a hand count, and we had an automated tally count.”

    Actually, my understanding is that the automated tally counted write-in votes that had the oval filled in. And only those votes qualified for the hand count.

    Miller: “Undisputed that more votes are counted when a hand count is applied rather than an automated tally because automated tallies exclude a number of ballots.”

    The only thing we can accurately claim as undisputed is that the automated tally excludes write-ins that don’t have the oval filled in.

  2. Zyxomma says:

    Count the votes by hand! Alaska Democrats, please say you approve of this! After all it’s Alaska, which though huge geographically, has the total population of a small city! Do the hand count; it’s the only way to be fair.

    This is a really important issue. Take your personal feelings about Miller AND Murkowski out of the equation. This is about YOUR votes, and counting all of them.

  3. Sarafina says:

    I still can’t believe Alaskans have not addressed the differing count issues. It appears the machines
    add votes. How can you guys even hold an election? Isn’t this a matter for the feds? Obviously the state (Dept. of Elections) are getting compensated for their inaction.

    In that election, the official statewide summary count for votes cast for George W. Bush in 2004 was ***190,889*** votes. But when you added up all the House District totals one by one, the total turned out to be ***292,268*** votes. Lisa Murkowski in that same election showed an official statewide summary total of ***226,992*** votes, but when House Districts were added up one by one, the total was only ***149,446***.

    Maybe it’s true, people get the government they deserve.

  4. Bob Benner says:

    This is the best blog site in the world!! You people ROCK!!!

  5. Martha Unalaska Yard Sign says:

    The Caribou Barbie nickname needs to be changed to Caribou Missy.

  6. Bretta says:

    Letterman says next week’s $arah Palin’s Alaska feature is visited by “The Walking Dead;” scene shows $ara blowing the head off a Zombie.

  7. Martha Unalaska Yard Sign says:

    I’ll happily use up Joe’s PAC slush fund to examine the voting procedures in AK. I’m beginning to think the Democratic Party in Alaska has been drugged into stupor. Of course they should be behind this – even if it’s soliciting funds or doing fund raising its own self to support chiming in on this one. I would donate, lots of us would. Even us Ns and Us – who happen to outnumber both main registered parties.

    C’mon Alaska Democrats. Where are you? You sure aren’t instilling any confidence in the principles of the party I mostly resemble. Dem Up!

  8. Village Reader says:

    I had written up a larger explanation of what happened today in my village but my computer quit and restarted. Blah. So here’s the basics.

    Investigator for Miller arrived off plane. Walks into my office and questions be about election day. I was an official. Questions on 2 votes and one racism charge concerning AST against a candidate (miller).

    Told the investigator (nice guy) about the election day and that most definitely I DID NOT hear anything about racism against either candidate. I really didn’t. I told him the corporations backed Lisa because they believed they knew her and Miller was an unknown. Plain and simple.

    I also told the investigator that Miller was crazy and a jerk. That was my opinion which I kept to myself on election day in front of voters BUT he was welcome to put in his report. Miller is a jerk.

    The investigator seemed like a nice person, talked for a while, he interviewed a few of the other election workers and left on the afternoon plane.

    I stand by what I said, Miller is a jerk and nothing he’s done has proven otherwise.

    • Village Reader says:

      Besides, I should have asked more questions about the racism charge considering I thought all the candidates were non-native. I didn’t ask what was the actual charge… sigh.

    • Martha Unalaska Yard Sign says:

      “I also told the investigator that Miller was crazy and a jerk.”

      Your little story is interesting, and I love the personal touch you added to your testimony of events.

  9. AKPetMom says:

    If the 2004 election was as inaccurately counted for Alaska as is stated in the first part of this post then it would be in everyones best interest to stay away from the polls until it is fixed, regardless of which party questions our Alaskan voting system.

    • Island Girl says:

      No, no, no! Staying away from the polls is exactly the wrong answer!!

      But can we wait til Joe’s gone before we take on the ballot busting? Sure getting tired of his scraggly mug.

    • Village Reader says:

      I agree with Island Girl, staying away from the polls is a bad idea.

      If you don’t vote for your candidate then the we end up with a mess called Miller.

    • Bretta says:

      I don’t agree staying away is the best solution – that’s what the Republicans want – the Diebold machines are programmed to benefit the Republicans. The fact that Joe Miller lost in the face of that is really important. The fact that in Alaska we use Diebold in spite of it being discredited and illegal elsewhere emphasizes the fact that (we, Indep, Undecl, Dem, Prog) need to turn out more than ever. More, more, more.
      Even if DeMint is funding this futile tilt at the windmills it could actually be to our benefit, we could actually get a system that functions fairly and for all.

      Of course the Democratic Party was ignored – let us spend DeMint’s money to achieve our ends.

  10. St. Elias says:

    Well, so we go back to hand count ballots. Like they may be the consummate answer to our election tally woes.

    Remember when: “I no sooner arrived at the state capital when word came that an Elections Office employee in Anchorage had discovered an unopened box of ballots in the trunk of his car! Hickle and his lawyer, Edgar Paul Boyko, immediately challenged the election with screams of “fraud”.

    My 98-vote primary victory was ruled invalid by Superior Court Judge Ralph Moody, on Friday the thirteenth, the same day President Carter withdrew 120 million acres of Alaska land in the “national interest.”

    Nuff said.

    • yukonbushgrma says:

      Yowza. You definitely put it into perspective – and good point. But that’s why the Division of Elections needs to check its totals against the votes cast in the local precincts. And if they do, they will find discrepancies — like a box of ballots in someone’s trunk.

      And if they find discrepancies, there’s something wrong!

      However, **IF** there are required and strong security assurances, hand-counted ballots can really be the most reliable. It just needs to be done right.

  11. Krubozumo Nyankoye says:

    I’ll weigh in here once more because I have some knowledge of the things involved. Machine counting of ballots could be made to work and would save a significant amount of money if it were to be implemented according to the statistical constraints that apply and are well known.

    To my knowledge the Diebold systems meet none of the criteria that should be applied to such a vote counting system. There should be nothing proprietary at all about such a system. It should not be networked, but stand alone. With existing technologies it would be simple to provide a complete accounting trail of all votes tallied and merge them from flash memory copies. Even a networked system could be made to work if suitably qualified engineers from all camps were given open access to the entire data stream. Unfortunately, that appears not to be the case, not only in AK but elsewhere as well.

    The whole electoral process is questionable due to the devious methods by which the present systems have been implemented and utilized. It is hard to think of any way in which integrity can be restored without reverting to less efficient methods. I have to emphasize again, that I do not see in this particular case of the M v M election challenge any clear path to the resolution of the problems that make the whole system untrustworthy.

  12. Baker's Dozen says:

    California, which has a few more registered voters than Alaska, has paper ballots you fill in with a black tip marker provided by the polling place. You fill in the oval. We’ve had our share of problems, what with people told to vote on the wrong day (English on Tuesday, Spanish on Wednesday). But, once I get to the polls, there’s my voting record–black on card stock. They go into a machine to be counted, obviously. But the paper is there to count. I like it much better than voting machines that punch a card (hanging chads) or vote electronically. And all voters understand how it works. It’s also easier, BTW, for a polling place to set up extra polling booths if they’re real busy if they don’t need some bulky machine.

    • Bretta says:

      We vote with a black pen on a paper ballot. It is then slid into a counting machine so we can have instant gratification of the tallied votes.

      Even with the instant count, there is no reason that standard statistical verification practices and hand counting should not take place.

      The counting would not be a question, at all, in this election, if Miller wasn’t being such an ass.

      However, I think we should gladly take advantage of his ass-ism and seek to use the situation to correct the fallacies and foibles of what we have.

  13. Thank you AKM for an excellent analysis. We are in bad shape if we can’t see that Joe has a point. Certainly it is not ‘the left’ that is all about asking him to give it up and I think we could go a long way to diffuse some of the divisiveness by stepping forward and advocating for some of his more salient points concerning our elections and vote counts. Go AKM. Don’t you think the country would take note if ‘Sarah Palin’s Alaska’ (not) stood up and showed that the hard core divisiveness she promotes and relishes in won’t take root here. We can be fair when someone has a coherent and important point about process. Let’s show the country that her game doesn’t play here.

  14. JP says:

    I’m an Australian, and we still hand-count every election from local to federal. We get results usually the same night, and all original ballots are preserved for recounts, challenges, statistical analysis, and the historical record. It’s not hard, and it’s not particularly expensive in the scheme of things.

    If anyone in the US was serious about electoral accountability (and I’m surprised fewer seem to be after the debacle of 2000) then they could do worse to campaign for instituting an independent, non-partisan body similar to the Australian Electoral Commission, which manages all aspects of elections – from voter registration, to selecting voting places, to counting, to redistricting.

    http://www.aec.gov.au/

  15. Krubozumo Nyankoye says:

    I have to go with AKM on this one, Alaskans in toto should have a serious interest in the integrity of their election and voting systems. However, it is not clear to me how this process of contesting even if there is a hand recount is going to lead to true reform of the obvious shortcomings of the system.

    Gross irregularities between the machine counts and other counts have seemingly been swept under the rug in the past, why will Miller’s challenge be any different unless there is a strong and determined movement to clean up the system and get one that works?

    The one upside I see is that at least for a time, there will be one fewer republican senators if no one
    from Ak can be seated until all is finally resolved. Judging from the outline of the Governor’s powers I would say that AK needs to amend its constitution in some pretty serious ways if the populace expects to have any chance of avoiding being sold down the river. In too many respects that horse has already left the barn.

    • yukonbushgrma says:

      …….. get the State to HAND-COUNT!

      • Wallflower says:

        Minnesota managed for six months with one Senator, and she was stressed, overworked, and completely capable. It was unfair and hard on her but she managed. I think a hand-count, and a clearer picture of the whole voting situation in Alaska is needed. The first time I ever saw Shannyn Moore was on TRMS two years ago, talking about irregularities in the voting process. This is important. Mark Begich can hold down the fort for a couple months.

  16. Ice Gal says:

    Miller tying up the election is a good thing.
    First if our accounting of votes is inaccurate, then it needs to be fixed.
    Second. Hanging up certification for years. Is the best way to keep that awful woman from doing any more damage!

  17. Doodlebug says:

    Can we get the hand count issue on a ballot so the people can vote on it? Who decided to use these machines anyway? I haven’t worked the polls since somebody shot the powerlines and caused the electricity to go out, and that night everybody was just bringing a flashlight in with them and casting their ballot anyway. We still bundled up the ballots and took them to the center where they were hand counted I’m sure. Yeah, it was a long time ago. But it looks like it is proven that even the newest machine not be the best. People always do it better!

    • yukonbushgrma says:

      YEAH, DOODLE! Why can’t we? If the people of AK got enough signatures on a petition, couldn’t we get it on a ballot?

      Hand-count …….. on a ballot …….

      Why not?

      You are absolutely right. People always do it better.

  18. Elstun W. Lauesen says:

    Will Alaska be without representation when the congress reconvenes? Hopefully; one less anti-Obama vote to muck up the works. Go Joe. Keep her out for another two years.
    Mark Begich: He never took the road less traveled so he is treading on the smooth, wide path worn by some big feet, including ANCSA Corporations and Telecommunication lobbyists and the Travel industry. I can see the headlines in 2014 as Republican Senate nominee Mead Treadwell appears to eek out a win over Mark Begich whilst Acting Lt. Governor Tuckerman Babcock refuses to answer questions about discrepancies in total count vs spot audits of the hand registries. The hapless Ds, watching their last grip on power slipping away file a lawsuit and Right Wing Talk Radio launches a blistering attack on the Ds for being ‘bar losers’.

    At that point do we get to say ‘I told you so’?

    • Elizabeth says:

      The issue is Lisa Murkowski’s seniority. If she is not sworn in with the rest on January, she loses her seniority. I don’t think Joe cares one bit about Alaska. He is being funded by Jim DeMint, of South Carolina who wants Lisa’s position on the energy committee. That is a loss that could hurt Alaska. I wouldn’t be surprised if this is the backstory regarding Joe’s candidacy from the beginning. Jim’s opponent in South Carolina was a homeless black man who mysteriously won the primary funded by ?????. The Democrats have never heard of this guy, but it guaranteed Jim with re-election. Jim figured that if Joe won the Alaska primary, Joe would be a shoe-in because Alaska votes Republican. That would explain some of Joe’s arrogance; he thought it was a foregone conclusion. Jim would get his committee seat and a dogboy to do his bidding. Joe would be a Senator. They hadn’t counted on Alaska and Lisa.

      • Alaska Pi says:

        I’m thinking we worry too much about seniority…
        That is the cry we’ve listened to for so long it’s like it’s in some book about Alaskan political truths somewhere- “seniority matters more than substance or voting record… ”
        It would be a loss- yes.
        End of the world-no.
        A time for us to adjust to something different- yes.
        Different is always bad- no.

        Joe Miller has pretty much cleared the building with his stink but it doesn’t mean everything he has said or done is wrong… or that questions about this election should be ignored because it looks like we are rid of him.
        I still have the same questions about some things I had before it was apparent Ms Murkowski was the winner of the race.
        We are looking at 6 more years of Ms NO-NO-NO Murkowski and whatever crumbs she carts home and tells us are pure gold already, I’d like to at least feel like we made SOME inroads in the direction of clean transparent election processes. Might make 6 more years of her crap chokable-downable…

        • Bretta says:

          I think the seniority argument was silly at best – she was only there eight years – Stevens was there for decades. The way Sen Murkowski got power was by snorkling-up to the Republican caucus and not doing what was best for Alaska, therefore the so-called seniority was of little use or benefit to us. Benefit to Big Oil, yes. We knew that. If she would like to be seated as a Senator of Alaska, she must change her ways.

  19. Marnie says:

    What you said.

    Personally, I don’t trust any mechanical voting system. But at the very least there should be a statistically significant number of randomly cast ballots from every ballot box for every election counted by hand.

  20. M Baker says:

    If that election would be held all over again, Miller would lose by even more votes than he did the first time. People now have an even clearer picture of the type of person Miller is. I’ll bet if he was given the offer to rehold the election, he would refuse the offer. He knows he has only darken his image more and knows his only chance is to keep this in the courts, and not in the hands of the people in a new election. After this is all over, I look for him leaving Alaska and moving back to Kansas. His political career is over no matter where he moves or tries to hide.

  21. Corvus corax says:

    So does Joe Miller also support a recount of all previous elections counted by these Diebold machines? Wonder what would happen then.

  22. scout says:

    “Alaskans with actual eyes and brains could easily be counting these couple hundred thousand ballots, and all the ballots in future elections. It’s time to hand count all ballots, every time. And it’s time to have a rule book that is clear to everyone before election day.”

    I vote with you, AKM. If the Nenana Ice Classic can do it, so can the State of Alaska.

  23. Lacy Lady says:

    Is there a dead line as to the “winner” ? If L. M, is in congress the first of the year—-would her vote on anything “count” ?

  24. BrandNewRepublican says:

    I wrote in “Lisa Murkowski” as she was the best candidate running for US Senate. And I don’t want Joe “it’s all about me” Miller causing the Alaska delegation to be down one senator when the swearing in takes place next month. Said otherwise, I do not want to be disenfranchised.

    As Joe’s giving himself a salary (from DeMint’s contributions) during these on-going legal proceedings and in considering his unquestioning behavior after the Primary results were in, I am convinced he’s doing these court actions for his benefit, not Alaska’s. That said, why doesn’t Joe drop his objection to the certification of the US Senate race AND THEN appropriately work on cleaning up the voting process in Alaska. The Legislature has to be involved in changing the way Alaskans vote, so Joe should pursue the case there.

  25. boodog says:

    Joe needs to go away

  26. ks sunflower says:

    I agree that hand-counting should be the only option because there will be problems even if we have machines that issue paper trails.

    Hand counting with eyes from representatives of all candidates looking at actual ballots will give us back confidence in the system.

    Of course, we do have to ensure that proper security is in place to guard the ballots if we hand-count or we will return to the old time ballot box stuffing scandals. There will always be some potential for cheating no matter what system, but people seem most comfortable with hand counted returns.

    • yukonbushgrma says:

      YUP, Sunflower!!!

      Hand-counting. In Alaska, we certainly could get the job done.

      We do it here in our little AK town. Granted, it would be much more labor-intensive in
      Anchorage, but not impossible. — And certainly less time-consuming than what’s been happening with this fiasco, courts and all!

      There’s one other benefit of hand-counting. You have REAL people checking each other, and REAL people trusting each other to do everything right. It’s a good process if followed well. It makes one really appreciate the electoral process.

      Back to hand-counting. That’s my vote!

    • yukonbushgrma says:

      p.s. — DIEBOLD SUCKS!!!

  27. InJuneau says:

    I wouldn’t count on the Rs remembering any of this the next time around. They clearly don’t remember the Ds calls for accuracy from 2 and 4 and 6 years ago. Why should they remember in another 2, 4, 6?

  28. Rob in Ca says:

    These would all be convincing arguments if Joe Miller had brought these long-standing issues up after the primary.

    But he didn’t. Therefore, since he brought it up only after he lost, that makes it self-serving, in my book.

    • AKMuckraker says:

      But that’s the point. Even if it’s totally self-serving, it doesn’t matter in the bigger picture.

      • Rob in Ca says:

        I think Miller, using Sarah’s attorney, is successfully reframing this situation from one in which Sarah showed laughably poor judgement in her choice of candidates…into one in which Sarah’s pick only lost due to
        – the Natives
        – the SuperPac
        – a corrupt voting system
        – Murkowsky breaking her word
        – etc….

        This is so infuriating to me, that I can’t see past it to the larger issue of Alaskan voting. (though since my name isn’t Rob in Ak…I have to concede that point)

      • Alaska Pi says:

        I agree.
        Mr Miller is such a slimy blob on the horizon it’s hard to remember there’s a bigger picture though…

      • bobatkinson says:

        Wow, just sent in a LTE at ADN addressing this exact issue but pointing to the upcoming 10th anniversary of the appointment of GW Bush to the presidency. Bush’s lawyers hammered on the different standards used to count the ballots as an issue that disenfranchised him(still not sure how he had more weight in the disenfranchisement department than the millions of actual Florida voters) and the Supremes used that as one reason to stop the counting of the votes. Since Joe is claiming a very similar disadvantage why not just hand recount all the ballots now and beat Joe’s lawyers to the endless appeals process that once again could go all the way to the Supreme Ct.? It would be an excellent way to cross check the accuracy of the Diebold machines as well and the entire process would be done long before the second or third appeal is finished.

        • Bretta says:

          I’m betting that the Alaska DOE has already done the hand recount and knows the answers to better position themselves during the court proceedings.

          It is my opinion that we are about to wipe the floor with JWMiller.

      • Dagian says:

        I agree.

        I hope he loses, but I certainly hope that every single ballot is hand-counted. There are worse ways to spend time!

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