The Alaska Supreme Court overturned a lower court ruling yesterday, paving the way for voters to see a list of write-in candidates when they go to the polls on Tuesday, including Sen. Lisa Murkowski.Murkowski (R) lost the Republican nomination to Joe Miller, and the two are now locked in a tight race for the seat.
Anchorage Superior Court Judge Frank A. Pfiffner had ruled Wednesday to temporarily block election officials from handing out the list, which he said “smacks of electioneering at the polls.” Later in the day, the state Supreme Court blocked his ruling.
The Supreme Court said the list of registered write-in candidates must be limited to names only, with no party affiliations or other information.
Besides issuing the emergency stay, the high court said it would expedite a state petition for review of the lower court ruling. It said responses from the state Democratic and Republican parties are due by Thursday afternoon on that point.
On Monday, the Alaska Democratic Party filed suit over the lists, and the state Republican Party joined in.
The TPM Poll Average shows Murkowski just ahead of Miller, 36.7%-36.0%, with Democrat Scott McAdams trailing at 25.5%.