Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage
A federal judge on Friday afternoon ordered the certification of Alaska’s Senate race halted if Republican Joe Miller files a lawsuit in state court by Monday. U.S. District Judge Ralph Beistline says Miller’s complaint about the interpretation of election law – and how it pertains to write-in ballots – is a state matter.
Beistline says that if Miller files a lawsuit in state court on or before Monday, the results of the race should not be certified until the legal issues raised have been fully resolved.
Miller had earlier filed for suit in federal court, alleging the state divisions of elections had not correctly interpreted state election law by accepting write in ballots that had misspelled candidates names on them
Lt. Governor Craig Campbell says voter intent drives ballot acceptance.
Judge Beistline required both state defendants and plaintiffs to address jurisdictional issues of where the case should be heard.
The state has filed to dismiss the case.
Miller also has complained that the division of elections began its hand count of write-in ballots earlier than anticipated, which forced his campaign to fly volunteer ballot count watchers to Juneau sooner than he would have liked.
The division of elections wants to certify the Senate election by Nov. 29.
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