A state court judge has moved a lawsuit over Alaska’s still-disputed U.S. Senate race from Fairbanks to the state capital, Juneau.
Judge Douglas Blankenship said Monday that the case brought by Republican Joe Miller raises statewide issues and that he believes it’s inconvenient for the state to be involved in a case in Fairbanks.
He said it may be necessary for a recount or for disputed ballots to be inspected and that he did not want to do anything that might “further risk the integrity of the election” – like moving the ballots from Juneau to Fairbanks.Blankenship told attorneys a status hearing would be held Wednesday.
However, the judge declined to issue a ruling on whether Sen. Lisa Murkowski could intervene in the lawsuit brought forth by Miller. Last week, the incumbent senator’s campaign filed a motion seeking a swift resolution to the unresolved race. Attorneys for Miller’s political operation pushed back against the legal action.
Murkowski ran as a write-in candidate following her loss to Miller in the GOP primary. Unofficial results show her leading Miller by 10,328 votes. Excluding votes challenged by Miller observers, she still had a 2,169-vote lead.
However, a federal judge has conditionally halted certification of the race, saying Miller’s challenge to the counting of write-in ballots raises “serious” legal issues that should be decided by a state court.
The Washington Post reported over the weekend:
Miller, a tea party favorite who beat Murkoswki in the GOP primary, has alleged bias on the part of state officials as well as voter fraud, arguing that some of the ballots have suspiciously similar handwriting. He has attacked the state Division of Elections for accepting minor misspellings of Murkowski’s name. He has complained that the hand-count of the write-in ballots started too early to give him enough time to train his volunteers to monitor the outcome.
Continue reading here…
- Joe Miller: From Alaska Maverick To Sore Loser (outsidethebeltway.com)
- Miller loses ruling on trial location (politico.com)
- How an Anonymous Graffiti Artist Voted (thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com)
- You: Despite Alaska Senate race results, Joe Miller presses on in principle (washingtonpost.com)
- Joe Miller Pushes Back Against Murkowski Campaign Intervention In Alaska Senate Election Lawsuit (huffingtonpost.com)