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Joe Miller's AK-SEN Lawsuit Cost The State $100K

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Newscom / AL GRILLO

The Alaska Dispatch reports that the Senate State Affairs Committee of the Alaska Legislature is considering a bill to allow minor misspellings or abbreviations on write-in ballots to be counted if "voter intent" can be determined. Miller had argued in his suit that determining voter intent was against Alaska law, and therefore write-in ballots with misspellings of Lisa Murkowski's name should not be considered.

Patti Epler of the Dispatch writes :

Sen. Bill Wielechowski, an Anchorage Democrat who chairs the state affairs committee, said the cost to the public of a serious challenge to a write-in campaign is one main reason to clarify the law.

Assistant attorney general Sarah Felix, one of a number of state attorneys involved in the Joe Miller case, told the committee that the legal wrangling, mainly in the state Superior Court, cost the state $85,000 to $100,000. The state is currently seeking to recover 20 percent of the cost -- about $17,000 -- from Miller, the maximum amount allowed under the law.

Miller finally ended the lawsuit and conceded the race on December 31, almost two months after election night.

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