(ANCHORAGE, Alaska) -- A federal court judge denied late Wednesday Republican Senate candidate Joe Miller's appeal to stop the counting of write-in ballots that were misspelled or incorrectly written. Instead, the judge asked both the elections division and Miller’s campaign to file a response by next week.
Miller had filed a lawsuit Tuesday to keep the Alaska Elections Division from counting ballots that may be misspelled but that the division said it would accept if it clearly represented voter intent.
Election officials say that Miller’s campaign observers have been questioning many legitimate ballots, a charge his aides deny, according to local reports.
"Watching the application of the newly invented ‘voter intent’ standard has been troubling,” said Miller’s attorney John Tiemessen, who has been monitoring the ballot count in Juneau. “We have seen first hand ballots 'put on hold' because the state employee could not figure out voter intent, but thought if they looked at the same ballot tomorrow or the next day, the ballot might be easier to understand. This is precisely the problem with having a state bureaucrat guess what a voter supposedly meant.”
Incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski has garnered about 98 percent of the write-in votes that have been counted thus far, but the elections division has a long ways to go.
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