Alaska Supreme Court rules in Senate election challenge

Thursday, December 23, 2010

File photo of Joe Miller.
Image: Ryan McFarland.

Yesterday, the Alaska Supreme Court ruled against Republican Senate candidate Joe Miller over the counting of votes in the November elections. Miller was challenging the state election authorities over their decision to allow misspelled write-in ballots in support of his opponent, Lisa Murkowski. Murkowski—the incumbent Republican senator for Alaska—lost a primary challenge to Miller and thus had to stand as a write-in candidate. Miller was endorsed by many in the Tea Party movement along with former Alaska governor Sarah Palin.

The court also did not find any evidence for the Miller campaign's accusation of election fraud.

Miller has no more options at the state level, but has until Monday to file any further motions to the U.S. District Court. If the federal court decide not to accept Miller's arguments, the election will be certified for Murkowski.

In response to the state Supreme Court ruling, Miller stated: "We disagree with the court's interpretation of the election code, but respect both the rule of law and the court's place in the judicial system. We are studying the opinion and carefully considering our options."

Kevin Sweeney, the campaign manager for Lisa Murkowski's campaign said Miller "will continue to pursue his baseless claims in federal court until his money runs out." Miller is financing the lawsuits with money from the Senate Conservatives Fund, a political action committee run by Senator Jim DeMint.