Early, Absentee Ballots Will Be Counted Tuesday; Write-In Count Begins Wednesday

Libby Casey, APRN – Washington DC

The battle to get votes in Alaska’s U.S. Senate race may be over, but the two main candidates are still duking it out and fund-raising to support legal teams involved with this week’s vote count.

Tuesday, the Division of Elections tallies absentee and early ballots, of which there are more than 30,000.  Then on Wednesday its teams start reading the write-in votes.  Republican nominee Joe Miller has 34 percent of the vote, and the “write-in” has 41 percent.

Senator Lisa Murkowski flew to Washington DC on Friday.  She hosts a fund-raiser there today for her legal expense fund.  Meanwhile the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which works to get Republicans elected to the Senate, is still supporting nominee Joe Miller, even though he’s likely trailing in second place behind another Republican.  The NRSC sent out an email Friday asking supporters to donate to him.  Chairman Senator John Cornyn of Texas wrote that both sides are beginning to “lawyer up” and that Miller needs money to make it a quote, “fair contest.”

Murkowski has on her legal team Benjamin Ginsberg, who worked on the 2000 presidential recount in Florida for George W. Bush, and the Minnesota race recount for Republican Norm Coleman.  Her legal team is headed by Tim McKeever, former attorney to Ted Stevens.  Miller is represented by Thomas Van Flein, Sarah Palin’s lawyer.

Regardless of who wins the race, the Senate convenes next Monday in a lame-duck session, of which Murkowski will be a part.  She’ll be angling to keep her slot as top Republican on the Energy Committee, and other assignments, if it looks like she’s still got her job as Senator.

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