Parnell, Young Retain Seats; Write-In Ballots to be Counted for US Senate Race

Libby Casey, APRN – Washington DC

Tuesday, Alaskans voted to keep their Governor and U.S. Congressman, and may have made history with their U.S. Senate vote.  A write-in candidate hasn’t won a Senate seat in 56 years, but Lisa Murkowski is on a trajectory to make history.

With 98.6 percent of precincts reporting, the “write-in” has 41 percent of the vote.  Republican candidate Joe Miller is trailing by 13,500 ballots.  Democrat Scott McAdams is in third with about a quarter of the vote.

Just what exactly more than 81,000 Alaskans wrote on the line remains to be seen, however.  The state Division of Elections has to read each ballot individually.  Lieutenant Governor Craig Campbell announced today that examining the write-ins will start a week sooner than initially planned, on November 10.  He expects it to take three days.

Officials say “voter intent” is key, and simple misspellings will be accepted.  160 other people signed up as write-ins last week, in an attempt to create chaos and confuse voters.  They were prompted to do so by conservative Joe Miller supporters.

But despite that, it was a good day for the incumbents Alaska sends to Washington. APRN’s Libby Casey reports.

Late this afternoon Murkowski announced a legal defense fund established to deal with expected litigation over write in ballots.

Photo by Josh Edge, APRN – Anchorage

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