Joe Miller vs. Lisa Murkowski: Alaska Senate Battle Turns Into Spelling Bee
The poorly shaven Tea Party candidate, Joe Miller, recently brought his last hope of a victory to Federal court citing Bush v. Gore.
On Tuesday, Joe Miller filed a suit in federal court asking a judge to bar Alaska election officials from counting any votes for Murkowski where her name was spelled incorrectly. Miller is asking the court to prevent the state from making a judgment on voter intention—very ironic coming from an advocate of pro states’ rights.
Alaska’s election law states that write-in ballots need to have the oval filled in and either the candidate’s last name or name as it appears on the official declaration of candidacy written in.
According to the Anchorage Daily News, Lt. Gov. Craig Campbell, who oversees Alaska elections, has indicated that he will accept minor misspellings of Murkowski’s name as long as the “voter intent” is clear.
In “Bush V. Gore,” SCOTUS ruled that Florida Supreme Court violated the Constitution’s equal protection clause by failing to adopt uniform standards for determining voter intent—effectually halting the recount. Although Miller cited the case in his suit, SCOTUS specifically stated that the decision was not to be used as precedent.
Ironically, Murkowski’s legal team includes Ben Ginsberg, who worked for George W. Bush and Dick Cheney during the 2000 Florida recount.
Miller trails incumbent Lisa Murkowski by roughly 11,000 votes. In the elections thus far, Miller has 35% of the vote and write-ins account for 40%. Murkowski believes she has the majority of the write-in votes.
Miller’s suit is quite likely to be futile; Even if he wins the ruling he still may not have the numbers to win.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski quickly launched a write-in campaign to keep her seat after surprisingly losing the GOP primary to Miller. If Murkowski wins she will be the first write-in candidate to do so since Strom Thurmond in 1954.