Murkowski Declares Victory

Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau

Lisa Murkowski has stood up to Republican Party nominee Joe Miller to become the first person in 56 years – and the first woman ever – to win a write-in campaign for a seat in the U.S. Senate.

Victory was certain last night when the hand-count of write-in ballots put Murkowski ahead by 10,400 votes.

The Senator travelled to Anchorage today where she is scheduled to meet reporters a little before 6 p.m. – and where she will likely declare herself the victor.

The margin between the candidates’ vote tallies is more than the 8,153 ballots challenged by Miller’s observers of the count.  Miller has said that under such conditions, he would not pursue any legal action over the spelling and handwriting issues his campaign had raised during the counting process.

However, Miller has rekindled the issue of voting irregularities, attempting to raise doubts about the integrity of the election. He questions the accuracy of the count of the ballots with which he was credited – his staff  at one point telling reporters in Juneau that he would ask for a hand-count of all 192,000 ballots cast in the race.  A statement released this afternoon indicates that he will only review some precinct logs the state has offered to provide.

Even without the challenged ballots, the margin of votes does not qualify for an automatic, free recount of the ballots.  Those are done by computer, not by hand.

Photo by Josh Edge, APRN – Anchorage

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