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Joe Miller: Alaska Election Officials Using 'Different Standard' for Lisa Murkowski

4 years ago
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As the counting of write-in ballots continues in Alaska, Senate candidate Joe Miller said Thursday that state election officials were using a "different standard" to judge votes for his opponent Sen. Lisa Murkowski.

Miller, who has sued to disqualify any apparent votes for Murkowski that misspelled her name, told ABC News that the state Division of Elections has "decided to change the approach" to the way it counts write-ins.

The reason for the special treatment, according to Miller, could be because the name "Murkowski" goes back generations in Alaska politics. Her father, Frank, was governor when he appointed her to the Senate seat in 2002.

"That's exactly what's happening here. You've got a different standard that's never been applied before to a write-in campaign," Miller said.

He criticized officials who ruled that misspellings could be counted if the intention was clear.

"And that's exactly why we filed in the complaint in the federal court, trying to get this resolved so the rule of law can be upheld," he said.

Miller, the GOP candidate and tea party choice, conceded that the total number of votes for write-in candidates far outstripped his total. But there are "lots of ballots left to be counted," he said, vowing to continue his legal fight.

"This race is far from over," Miller told ABC News.

Miller also said he received a $20,000 contribution for his legal fight from the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which endorsed him after he beat Murkowski in the GOP primary. Sarah Palin's PAC also sent a donation, he said.

Meanwhile, the Anchorage Daily News reported that the ongoing count seems to favor Murkowski, with the incumbent "receiving nearly 98 percent of the write-in ballots cast." By Thursday afternoon, elections officials had reviewed write-in ballots for 32 percent of the precincts.

Miller, a little-known conservative lawyer who went on to get the coveted Palin endorsement, shook up Alaska politics when he defeated Murkowski in the GOP primary. He appeared headed for the Senate until Murkowski decided to stage a write-in campaign. On election night, the number of write-in votes exceeded the number that Miller received by about 41 to 34 percent. Democrat Scott McAdams came in third with 25 percent of the vote.

Filed Under: 2010 Elections, Tea Party

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