November 16, 2010
According to information provided by Murkowski's campaign manager Kevin Sweeney, Murkowski currently leads Miller by 1,706 votes. A lead that will only grow says Sweeney. With the last large batch of absentees counted Monday, Miller received 2,931 votes, and “Write-In” received 3,463 votes. This is the last significant vote count in this election.
According to the outstanding write-in ballots yet to counted, it now appears Murkowski will cross the 100,000 vote mark said Sweeney in a press release.
“Joe will receive very few more votes, with the exception of a couple hundred overseas ballots to come in,” said Murkowski's campaign manager Kevin Sweeney. “However, it looks like Lisa will be credited with about 10,000 more write-in votes once they have been reviewed in Juneau. If the unchallenged rate proceeds as it has for the past five days, Lisa stands to win the race, even accounting for Joe Miller’s challenges,” Sweeney said. “And when that happens,” he added, “we expect him to concede this race as he has indicated he would.”
However, Miller campaign spokesman Randy DeSoto reports Miller in the lead with uncontested votes. In a press release DeSoto said that after 5 days of write-in ballot counting, Republican nominee Joe Miller still leads incumbent Lisa Murkowski in the uncontested write-in ballot count. As of Sunday night, 88,076 of the total 98,565 write-in votes have been counted and Miller has 87,517 uncontested votes and Murkowski only has 78,697 uncontested votes. If current trends hold, Miller and Murkowski will likely end up in a dead heat in the uncontested ballot count says DeSoto.
Tuesday, approximately 8,800 absentee ballots are due to be counted as well as 1,000 overseas (mostly military) ballots. Miller has had a very strong showing in the absentee ballots and particularly among the military community. Miller campaign spokesman Randy DeSoto said, "If previous trends hold for the absentee ballot count, it is possible for Joe to gain as many as 1,000 votes against Lisa Murkowski tomorrow [Tuesday]."
The next issue will be determining the standard to apply for ascertaining the validity of challenged ballots. Desoto said, "The obvious standard must be the law. We are a nation of laws, not of men." DeSoto also explained that, "The Lieutenant Governor, following the announcement of Lisa Murkowski's write-in candidacy, stated that the law would be applied, as written. We expect to hold the state to the law. The time and place to alter the law is in the legislature. The Division of Elections' actions here to modify clear law is troubling and concerning. After 50 years of state elections, the Division of Elections has all of a sudden adopted all sorts of new procedures just for this election. We are watching this to ensure this election is transparent, fair and legitimate. So far, what we have seen, should give the voting public pause."
The Division of Elections says it expects the write-in process to wrap up Wednesday.
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