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. DC Insider

    Oh brother, give up Joe. You lost fair and square, stop trying to much things are only going to embarrass yourself.

    November 23, 2010 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  2. Laverne

    You lost Joe and that's what happens when you embrace poison, it backfires in your face! Alaskans can't stand Sarah Palin, so you set your ownself up when you thought her endorsement would take you to the finish line, concede and go home!

    November 23, 2010 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  3. Independent In Albany

    Even if the disputed votes are not counted Miller loses. So much for claiming to be a patriot........

    November 23, 2010 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  4. EricLr

    Jeez, have some dignity, man! Do you really want to go to the Senate on a *technicality*? Time to man up and do the right thing and stop acting like a child who had his candy taken away. Is this the kind of behavior we can expect out of the Tea Party from now on?

    November 23, 2010 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  5. annie s

    So this is what the Tea Party is all about? Ensuring that the will of the people NOT be carried out if their spelling or penmanship isn't perfect? Sweet.

    November 23, 2010 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  6. Linda in FL

    Joe, pick up your toys and go home. No one likes a sore loser.

    November 23, 2010 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  7. John Smith

    It is interesting how Lisa is out declaring herself the winner. Yes, there are only 8K ballots with questions leaving her a 2K lead, but one thing this article fails to report is that machine rejected ballots were only counted in her favor. Meaning if two ballots were cast, one was a write in for her and the other was a bubble for Joe that had a smudge on it, they tossed Joe's and counted hers. Not fair. A hand count of these will be the next step. It is not over until Palin sings.....

    November 23, 2010 09:40 am at 9:40 am |

    Joe Miller is most definately a "sore loser"! He and Sarah would make a great couple.

    November 23, 2010 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  9. Whatever

    NOW who truly is the sore loser?!?!!! M I L L E R!!!!!!! So the will of the people does not matter to him unless it is in his favor. He talked trash about her not bowing out. Just go away quiet dude!!!

    November 23, 2010 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  10. Sue Harris

    What a loser. A really sore loser, to boot.

    November 23, 2010 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  11. Indy

    In 2008 "We the People" told Sarah Palin to go home to Alaska and shut her mouth and stay in Alaska, she did not listen and her and Miller will not listen to "We the People". The people of Alaska have spoken now and of course these two do not ever listen to the people, which means they should never be allowed to hold any office for the people.

    November 23, 2010 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  12. steve

    Yeah, go against the will of the people because they forgot a letter. Sounds like the Tea Party to me.

    November 23, 2010 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  13. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Here is the ultimate one for all your folks. The Senate has the right to not accept the election results from a state if they believe the balloting and/or tabulation was not conducted properly, or if they feel an appointed Senator was wrongfully appointed. That means that if Joe Miller wins his unlikely court battle, the Senate can tell him to go home because they do not want him fouling their halls with the stench of tea sticking to him. Given the fact that Mitch McConnell has a known quantity in Lisa Murkowski as opposed to someone with no understanding of how things work in Miller, and who can be a stumbling block to whatever agenda McConnell wishes to propose, I can see him recommending to the body a rejection of Miller's "certification".

    November 23, 2010 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  14. Cosmo

    You lost Joe. Stop being a weasle and concede.

    November 23, 2010 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  15. Trey

    Joe Miller need let it go and start acting like a "Man" instead of a child who had his toy taken away! He lost and he is just costing the State more unnecessary expense, accept the Fact you lost ! Can you imagine how he would act if he were to be the Senator from Alaska?

    November 23, 2010 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  16. ian

    hows that outfit? Periwinkle shirt leather jacket and 5 o clock shadow? And a class ring?

    November 23, 2010 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  17. Brijhy

    Who's the sore loser now?

    November 23, 2010 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  18. Former Republican - Now Independent

    I hope this goes on for years.

    November 23, 2010 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  19. Anonymous

    I realize there are legalities to follow but how embarrassing to lose by the margin he did and then challenge the election.
    He in essence is saying he does ot care what Alaskans want. Nice to see his priorities

    November 23, 2010 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  20. Laurie in Spokane

    Another sore loser! Didn't win so has to sue about it. Who cares if someone wrote in MURKOWSKI, or MERKOWSKI or MURCOWSKI, or MERCOWSKY or MIRCOSKI.......the intent is there and I don't know of another person with a name pronounced "mer cow ski"running for the office. Get over it!

    November 23, 2010 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  21. Jim

    Ah yes, the rule of law. Let's ignore the voter's wishes and send the wrong person to the Senate because they can't spell. Sounds legal to me. Accept it, Miller, you lost. Palin's endorsement probably hurt you more than it helped, and now you have to pay the price. Find a fishing hole, stick your head in it, and see you during the spring thaw.

    November 23, 2010 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  22. Nick , California

    But he loves the constitution!!! This is the problem with America... if I don't like something I'll just SUE YOU! He is fighting ballots that are clearly intended for Murkowski! Its like watching a horse with a broken leg.. you just have to put it our of its misery! Bye bye Tea Party!

    November 23, 2010 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  23. GI Joe

    Another whining wah wah wah republican. YOU LOST – DEAL WITH IT.

    November 23, 2010 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  24. Ben in Texas

    Miller wants to disenfranchise voters who can't spell. He'd better watch out. Those voters are his natural base of support.

    November 23, 2010 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  25. mike

    Miller got crushed in Palins home state what does that say for her influence on the voters of alaska I wound if this will be front page news like when a democrat loses in a republican state or like when brown won in boston Mass.or are we going to talk about her reality show of putting bait on a hook or firing a rifle this is a globe world we live in when are these bible thumping idiots going to wake up and understand that you have to be smart not someone who thinks there going to tell the rest of the world what to do those days gone we are a country of uneducated people and the world is beginning to see it and our education will be our down fall on the world stage we are more worried about who is going to win on dancing with the stars what does that tell you

    November 23, 2010 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
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