Skip to comments.Is Joe Miller Trying to Disenfranchise Alaskans?(CBS News)
Posted on 11/11/2010 3:34:25 PM PST by mdittmar
Joe Miller, the Tea Party-backed Republican nominee for Alaska Senate, may be on the cusp of losing the Senate race to Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who ran as a write-in candidate after losing the GOP primary to Miller.
There were more write-in votes than there were votes for Miller, and the vast majority of those ballots seem to have been cast for Murkowski. Miller chosen to address this by challenging votes that appear to have been for Murkowski even when there is only the smallest of justifications for doing so.
Consider: According to the Associated Press, an observer for Miller today challenged a vote that seemed to be for Murkowski because even though her name was spelled and printed correctly, the "L" in Lisa was written in cursive. (Or just have a look at the challenged ballot pictured above.)
Other challenges have been for sloppy handwriting or tiny misspellings - "Lisa Merkowski," for example. While it would seem to be obvious that a write-in for "Lisa Merkowski" is a vote for Murkowski, Miller doesn't want it counted.
Alaska officials have said they will take into account voter intent when considering the ballots - which presumably means that the "Merkowski" vote would go to Murkowski. But Miller's legal team argues that state law does not allow such an interpretation: If the name on a write-in ballot does not exactly match the name of the candidate, they say, it doesn't count.
The legal question will be settled next week, when Miller's legal challenge to the state's position will be heard in court. (Miller already filed suit to stop the count altogether, but a judge turned him down.) If Miller's camp can successfully challenge enough ballots to overcome Murkowski's apparent lead - and the courts decide that their interpretation of the law is correct - he will become a senator.
The issue isn't just a legal one, however. Should Miller triumph by disqualifying a large number of ballots despite clear voter intent, he will have essentially have "won" an election in which he was not the candidate for whom Alaskans tried to cast the most votes.
Alaska officials say they want to count votes for Murkowski that are less than perfect because it means not disenfranchising Alaskans simply for sloppiness or spelling errors. For Miller, however, what the voters meant appears to be less of a concern than finding a way to Washington.
“Simply a spelling error” is NOT a minor thing when dealing with write in ballots.
I recognize these voters PROBABLY meant to vote for the senator, but as a legal principle I can see requiring exact spelling on a write in.
How else can you possibly “know” who someone really planned to vote for on a write in??? There is no other way.
I’d like to dis-something at cBS.
If I write in “John Smythe” then John Smith cannot have that vote. That should be obvious.
Oh for cripes sake. Democrats steal elections by the boatload and Miller insists ballot counters abide by state law and he’s violating the will and intent of the voters? Typical MSM BS.
A letter Frank Murkowski wrote to the Legislature:
...Section 18 of the bill would amend AS 15.15.360(a) on the rules for
counting ballots, to provide a uniform definition of what constitutes a
vote as required by sec. 302(a)(6) of the HAVA...
Frank H. Murkowski
Even her daddy, years ago, knew he didn’t want her winning this election!
HAVA refers to the Help America Vote Act:
302 (a)(6) Uniform definition of what constitutes a vote.Each
State shall adopt uniform and nondiscriminatory standards that
define what constitutes a vote and what will be
counted as a vote for each category of voting system used in the
Even nore irony- the HAVA was written to prevent another Florida fiasco, like this!
They’re still on the air???
The same can be said about that RINO Mutturdski (misspelling deliberate). Didn't she lose the primary and, instead of refusing to accept that Alaskans primary voters didn't want her, she pulled a Charlie Crist as though that Senate seat is hers by entitlement?
How about a constitutional convention where the Constitution is amendment to limit the terms of those serving in the House and the Senate and to BAN family members from running for those seat? This entitlement mentality is going to be the death of us.
Alaska Statutes - Section 15.15.360.: Rules for counting ballots.
(a) The election board shall count ballots according to the following rules:
(1) A voter may mark a ballot only by filling in, making X marks, diagonal, horizontal, or vertical marks, solid marks, stars, circles, asterisks, checks, or plus signs that are clearly spaced in the oval opposite the name of the candidate, proposition, or question that the voter desires to designate.
(2) A failure to properly mark a ballot as to one or more candidates does not itself invalidate the entire ballot.
(3) If a voter marks fewer names than there are persons to be elected to the office, a vote shall be counted for each candidate properly marked.
(4) If a voter marks more names than there are persons to be elected to the office, the votes for candidates for that office may not be counted.
(5) The mark specified in (1) of this subsection shall be counted only if it is substantially inside the oval provided, or touching the oval so as to indicate clearly that the voter intended the particular oval to be designated.
(6) Improper marks on the ballot may not be counted and do not invalidate marks for candidates properly made.
(7) An erasure or correction invalidates only that section of the ballot in which it appears.
(8) A vote marked for the candidate for President or Vice-President of the United States is considered and counted as a vote for the election of the presidential electors.
(9) Write-in votes are not invalidated by writing in the name of a candidate whose name is printed on the ballot unless the election board determines, on the basis of other evidence, that the ballot was so marked for the purpose of identifying the ballot.
(10) In order to vote for a write-in candidate, the voter must write in the candidates name in the space provided and fill in the oval opposite the candidates name in accordance with (1) of this subsection.
(11) A vote for a write-in candidate, other than a write-in vote for governor and lieutenant governor, shall be counted if the oval is filled in for that candidate and if the name, as it appears on the write-in declaration of candidacy, of the candidate or the last name of the candidate is written in the space provided.
(12) If the write-in vote is for governor and lieutenant governor, the vote shall be counted if the oval is filled in and the names, as they appear on the write-in declaration of candidacy, of the candidates for governor and lieutenant governor or the last names of the candidates for governor and lieutenant governor, or the name, as it appears on the write-in declaration of candidacy, of the candidate for governor or the last name of the candidate for governor is written in the space provided.
(b) The rules set out in this section are mandatory and there are no exceptions to them. A ballot may not be counted unless marked in compliance with these rules.
Subsection 11....Does it really mention spelling?
What Miller issaying is there is a law. If we ignore this one, which others will we also ignore?
The law states that the name on the ballot must match the name on the application.
No one told you we live in an Oligarchy?
Did you actually...read...the law ?
From HERE paragraphs six and seven seem pretty clear to everyone but the Democrats and Eskimos:
“Alaskan statute 15.15.360. states a vote ‘shall be counted if the oval is filled in for that candidate and if the name, as it appears on the write-in declaration of candidacy, of the candidate or the last name of the candidate is written in the space provided.’
The statute continues with there are no exceptions to this statute; ‘A ballot may not be counted unless marked in compliance with these rules.’ “
14 posted on Thursday, November 11, 2010 11:03:47 AM by Oatka
If he doesn’t have the votes, he doesn’t have the votes. It seems like he probably ought to concede rather than try to win this way.
The law is the law, but I’m sure the whiny, dishonest loser will figure a way to weasel her way in.
I’m in Washington State,take heart Alaskans,it could be worse;)
What is a CBS? And why should we care what it thinks?
It merely says...last name...and a write in ballot by it's very definition, assumes human eyes on the ballot.
Close counts.I don't like the outcome but it is Just.
Maybe we should challenge the outcome of the Alaska election because they did not adopt uniform and nondiscriminatory standards that
define what constitutes a vote and what will be
counted as a vote for write in ballots....
Hell no. Pubbies need to learn to fight to the limits of the law. Not exceed, but to the limits. These elections are too important for such delicate feelings to be exhibited. We are at war, not at a bake sale.
Why would he possibly concede? The Military votes have not even all arrived to be counted yet. Contrary to popular belief, Lisa the Shrew has NOT won this yet.
That's unquestionably correct. I think that trying to somehow deduce "voter intent" just leads down a very slippery slope (and may likely be unconstitutional).
Is CBS trying to influence the outcome of an election?
“as it appears”. Not “spelled similarly”. Not “voter intent”. It says “as it appears”.
Since you’re fond of repitition,
AS IT APPEARS
Overseas and military ballots aren't even due back until November 17. There are still a lot of ballots to count.
Let's wait to see whom the military voted for before charging anyone with disenfranchisement.
You think that if my name is Johnson, and a write in ballot contains the name “Johnston” instead, this satisfies the requirement that MY last name appear on the ballot?
I don’t think so, unless you can tell me that all similar last names are interchamgeable. As for me, I know I correct people on how to pronounce or spell my name all the time.
That would be out of concern they will not write down my actual name, which can be important.
“(9) Write-in votes are not invalidated by writing in the name of a candidate whose name is printed on the ballot unless the election board determines, on the basis of other evidence, that the ballot was so marked for the purpose of identifying the ballot.”
Interesting. I may be in error here, but I thought it was ruled that write-ins for Miller weren’t going to be counted?
As for Miller’s challenge... I have to admit a couple of these complaints seem awfully shaky. A write-in with a properly spelled name, but starting a cursive rather than a printed “L”, ought to count whether I like the candidate or not. I want Miller to win over the Powercrat Murkowski, but I don’t want to see anyone’s ballot rejected without good reason, no matter who they supported.
Of course, there is no way of knowing how representative the examples CBS chose to use really are. There could be a thousands of legitimately questionable ballots in the mix, and “voter intent” is an incredibly subjective thing to base a decision on which to judge their validity.
We’ll see how it goes.
Do we know how close is right now and have they stated how many military ballots are coming in?
I always love their selective focus.
Ah, no one expects Lisa to listen to her daddy- that crazy kid!
Seriously, every state wrote laws like this in 2003 and now they’re all up in the air. Isn’t it funny how laws written to solve specific problems so often turn out to fall short?
Yes, it does mention spelling.
Do they think Joe Miller will get a vote for “Joe Mueller” because, oh they must have meant Joe Miller? Of course not.
IF she had been on the regular ballot this requirement would not apply to her. But write in ballots by their very nature are quite different.
as it appears ...’or’
“Miller chose to address this by challenging votes that appear to have been for Murkowski even when there is only the smallest of justifications for doing so.”
Miller has chosen to address the existing election law, while cBS has chosen to address the liberal idiotic fantasies of their own minds.
murk knew the murky waters she was heading into with a write-in campaign, and she chose to go there anyhow, despite promising to respect the results of the Republican primary and ‘go home.’ She’s a LIAR, and cBS with her, as they make stories up out of thin air.
Hey cBS - morons, yeah you - how have you “chosen to address” your utter lack of credibility?
Yes, I have utter contempt for you cBS, just like you clearly show for our legitimate Republican candidate for AK Senate - Joe Miller - in your weak kneed article.
Ouch! I hear your elections are just an excuse to subsidize the letter carrier unions!
I don’t know why Virginia elections are well run, but even close ones are rarely even challenged.
To me, this entire concept of having an available list of registered “write-in” candidates is the problem. With this procedure in place, why would someone with name recognition even bother running in a primary?
At least in the case of Joe Lieberman, he did identify himself on the ballot as an Independent.
“Hell no. Pubbies need to learn to fight to the limits of the law. “
I agree. It’s time to quit giving up so easily. If the tables were turned the libs would be using every legal (and illegal) trick to win.
there is a conjunction after that, is there not?
And after said conjunction, it does not legislate spelling.
now you're arguing like a democrat by skipping the phrase that does not suit you.
It only says 'last name' not 'last name "explicitly spelled" ' and a write in ballot by it's nature assume human eyes doing the reading and counting.
There will be intense pressure on Miller to concede before the military ballots can be counted.
Pray for his strength!
Is “Merkowski” her last name? No.
Is “Moocowski” her last name? No.
There is nothing in the law that allows for “voter intent”. It has to be as it appears, or the last name. A misspelling is NOT the last name.
I believe its a type of fly. One just flew by my ear. It was making a buzzing sound, but I paid no attention to it. It has no real brain, thus it does not think.
“I recognize these voters PROBABLY meant to vote for the senator, but as a legal principle I can see requiring exact spelling on a write in.”
Let me state the following:
(1) I don’t think write in votes should be allowed - but that is a matter for the state to decide.
(2) As an outsider to Alaska I support Miller and think Murkoski is a poor loser. She should have accepted primary defeat.
(3) The will of the voters must be respected...even when I disagree with there choice. If not, then it isn’t a democracy.
Therefore, I think Joe Miller is hurting himself and conservatism to get too much into the “letter” of the law and not its “intent.” “If” clear intent is expressed in the ballot via write-in (although slightly misspelled) then the vote needs to be honored.
I prefer Joe and dislike Lisa, but I must respect the voters of that state as I would want to be respected in my own. To win on overly strict legalese is a “liberal” way of doing things. Do the “right” thing and it will come back in dividens.
No, Joe Miller is not disenfranchising anybody. The voters who did not bother to learn to spell the name correctly did it themselves. We cannot change the law during the election to benefit one person. If someone writes Cruella DeVille, are we to assume they forgot her name but meant to vote for Murkowski?
Thanks for the info. It always seems like the good guy loses in these instances of close elections and sore losers.