Republican Joe Miller filed his lawsuit in state court yesterday, after a federal judge ruled that his complaints over the Alaska Senate race were under the state court’s jurisdiction.
In the latest filing, Miller makes two new arguments, including the claim that in several precincts, “the handwriting on many or all of the write-in ballots appears to be from the same person, or the same small group of 2 to 4 people,” therefore signifying that the write-in vote was not written by the voter him or herself.Write-in candidate Sen. Lisa Murkowski declared victory last week in the race, after pulling ahead by over 10,000 votes, 2,000 of which went unchallenged by the Miller campaign. The tea party-backed Miller scored a surprise victory over Murkowski in the primary, only to fall short to her historic write-in general election campaign.
In the new suit (which can be read in .pdf form here), Miller rehashes his old argument that the state’s attempt to discern “voter intent” from the write-in ballots is unfounded, since many of those misspellings were “protest votes” against Murkowski, who waged an expensive ad campaign to ensure voters spelled her name right. Miller also argues in this suit that though Murkowski is ahead by over 2,000 uncontested votes, his suit is not moot, because the state pushed up the ballot count and didn’t give Miller enough time to train his team as to which votes to contest.
In one new argument, Miller claims that in some precincts “voters neither showed proper identification nor were excused from showing such identification.” Miller had previously sued for copies of the election registers, claiming that his campaign has received several complaints of voter fraud since election day. According to the registers, the suit says, voters who didn’t present proper identification “apparently were permitted to vote anyway, without being given questioned ballots.”
Miller’s suit also claims that the handwriting on many of the ballots in the same precinct was the same, showing that the Elections Division is “accepting as valid and counting numerous write-in ballots in which the candidate’s name was not written by the voter himself.”
He also argues that ballots with stray marks were rejected by the electronic voter machines, but write-in ballots with stray marks were counted by elections officials, thereby giving Murkowski an advantage.
Miller’s suit asked for an injunction against certifying the election, and he is pushing for a hand recount of all of the ballots in the race.