Alaska Senate race heads to state court
November 23rd, 2010
09:09 AM ET
12 years ago

Alaska Senate race heads to state court

(CNN) - The country's last undecided Senate election arrived in state court Monday when Alaska Republican Joe Miller sued the state over how write-in ballots for his Republican rival, write-in candidate Sen. Lisa Murkowski have been counted.

Miller's lawsuit was originally filed in federal court, but a judge ruled Friday that it was instead a matter for the state court to decide. However, he did grant a temporary injunction halting certification of the Senate election.

The incumbent Murkowski launched a write-in bid for the Senate seat after she lost the Republican primary to Tea Party-backed Miller.

The Miller campaign is now challenging the Division of Election's decision to ensure the state law is followed, which calls for write-in votes to match the name of the candidate. He has argued that Alaska law does not allow the counting of misspelled names on write-in ballots. The Division of Elections set guidelines before counting began that allowed for a voter's intent to be considered when determining whether to count a ballot for a write-in candidate.

After the court rules, the campaign has said it wants a hand count of the ballots.

"We have consistently stated that the rule of law has to be followed," Miller said in a statement Monday. "State law is not a lunch menu where the Lt. Governor can pick and choose which laws he likes and will follow and which ones he doesn't like."

The Associated Press called the race for Murkowski last week when she had a 10,328-vote lead over Miller, a figure that includes the 8,159 ballots contested by Miller observers. Not including those ballots, she has a 2,169-vote lead.

–CNN Political Coverage Manager Steve Brusk contributed to this report

Filed under: 2010 • Alaska • Joe Miller • Lisa Murkowski
soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. JustMe

    Can we say sore loser?

    November 23, 2010 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  2. Lyle

    I looks from the picture that Joe is already starting on a new career as a Jerry Seinfeld imitator.

    November 23, 2010 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  3. Terrence

    Miller let it go you lost!!!!!

    November 23, 2010 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  4. jules sand-perkins

    Miller is being silly about this, although I would have voted for him had I lived in Alaska.
    In a country where so many voters don't know that Republicans won the House back, how can you expect people to spell Murkowsky?
    They couldn't spell Miler either.

    November 23, 2010 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  5. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    What a jerk this guy is..........

    November 23, 2010 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  6. Lou from NH

    Hey Joe Miller – we thought there were problems with the Governor's race in Connecticut, and how your campaign wants to pitch a tantrum over WRITE-IN VOTES? why are you doing this to the citizens of Alaska? Take your marbles and go home.

    November 23, 2010 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  7. unretired05

    Joe why don't you and half-term Sarah just stay in Alaska. You're going to anyway so quit whining. Do you think the court will not count the ballots and give you the election? Where do you think you are Florida?

    November 23, 2010 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  8. Outside Observer

    This is wrong. Miller just have the humility to concede and respect the voters will. No matter how the voters spelled "Lisa Murkowski" they should be counted for Lisa because the intent is there. Not counting them is tantamount to disenfranchising those voters and the Division of Elections have the duty to discern voters' intent and to protect their right of suffrage. It's just like when you ask people who they voted and they say verbally "Lisa Murkowski" but if you ask them to write it down and if they mispelled it, would you not count the vote for Lisa? Wake up Joe Miller and let Lisa enjoy the fresh new mandate that Alaskans have given her. You have the advantage of having your name on the ballot but majority of Alaskans chose to write in their preferred senator, so get it over with.

    November 23, 2010 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  9. sammieb51

    She won whether her name was spelled right or not - isn't it the GOP that always says the Dems are bad losers? Yet are they not the ones that insist on tying up the courts forcing courts to make the decisions in elections rather than the voters ballots speaking for themselves? Just goes to show you CAN really convince some folks Grey is really White.

    November 23, 2010 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  10. Me

    Wah! Whaaahh!!!
    It is clear that the majority of Alaskans want Lisa Mirkowskee to be their Senator.
    (Do ya see what I did there? I mis-spelled her name! You still knew who I was talking about! At the very least, you knew I was not speaking about Joe Miller )

    "The Associated Press called the race for Murkowski last week when she had a 10,328-vote lead over Miller, a figure that includes the 8,159 ballots contested by Miller observers. Not including those ballots, she has a 2,169-vote lead."

    So, It wouldn't matter if he won his case or not...HE STILL LOSES THE ELECTION! This man is no ordinary loser. no no, He is a sore loser and a douche bag to boot. He makes douche bags everywhere look bad.
    What a douche

    November 23, 2010 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  11. T'sah from Virginia

    Now WHO does not want to FACE the FACT that they LOST!!!! This race is different!! Murkowski LOST within her OWN party and felt she can STILL win in the race against the Democrat!! She PROVED that!! Miller High Life has to understand that it was NOT just TP folks or other FOLKS Sarah LOVES that voted for her – Many Democrats voted for Murkowski also and he is now "tampering" with that!!!

    YOU LOST – Get over it!!

    November 23, 2010 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  12. Granny Griper

    Try to keep in mind how this country is going to be if these little children acting adults keep getting into office and oh LORD PLEASE HELP US IF SARA PALIN GETS EVEN NEAR THE OFFICE OF PRESIDENT, she acts like a spoiled little brat. You cannot hold and office and spew hatred like she does. What is so sad is people are following her and she is leading them to the wolves to be eaten alive

    November 23, 2010 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  13. skorpeo

    you lost, joe!! even without the controversial ballots, you're still over 2,000 votes behind. man up and quit your whining!

    November 23, 2010 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  14. bill

    How pathetic of a person are you? How so very unamerican can one be? The people of alaska have spoken, they don not want Joe Miller. Unfortunately this gentleman(I use this term very loosely in this case) has decided that what the people of alaska want is secondary to what he wants. This to me this just shows that Joe Meller(oops, can't use this post bad spelling) really is just another member of the elite who thinks they know better than all the people of the state of alaska. POWER TO THE PEOPLE!!!

    November 23, 2010 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  15. Jack

    Mr. Miller, she beat fair and square on a write-in campigan; be a man, be honorable, accept defeat graciously!

    November 23, 2010 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  16. kmp

    What a loser, regardless if they toss some of those votes he still loses. What does he hope to gain other than the label of a very sore loser.

    November 23, 2010 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  17. Russ

    What next Miller? You gonna stomp your feet and throw a tantrum? Boo hoo you little cry baby!

    November 23, 2010 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  18. Alex

    Many state laws follow the "voter intent" rule. This is nothing new and it's been defended time after time – you don't have to be a perfect speller for your vote to count. I'm sure the Miller campaign was counting on this to try and discount Murkowski's votes. Fortunately, history is not on his side on this one.

    Silly Joe, wasting tax payer money, again!

    November 23, 2010 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  19. Alex

    Honestly, you can write in, "That women who Joe Miller beat in the primaries, she's a Republican, her name is Lisa something." According to many "voter intent" laws, that would count as a legitimate vote becasue it's OBVIOUS who the vote is being cast for.

    November 23, 2010 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  20. Judas

    Just go away, Joe. You're a liar and a narcissistic fraud.

    November 23, 2010 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  21. wired

    He learned well from Bush.

    If you don't win an election, Sue to win it.

    November 23, 2010 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
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