News and Media
Republican vs. Republican in Alaska
On Wednesday, November 17, 2010, Lisa Murkowski became the first U.S. senator in over half a century to win an election with a write-in campaign. As of that day, in which all but 752 ballots had been counted, the counting of the votes gave the Alaskan Republican a lead of 10,000 votes over her opponent, Tea Party favorite Joe Miller, with 100,868 votes for Murkowski vs. 90,468 for Miller. The last senator to win a write-in campaign was then-Democrat Strom Thurmond of South Carolina in 1954.Murkowski is a member of one of the state’s major political families and has been a senator since 2002. She was defeated in the state’s Republican primary in August by Miller, who had the support of former Congressional elections Governor Sarah Palin.On Monday, November 22nd, however, Joe Miller filed suit in Alaska state court challenging Ms. Murkowski’s election victory. The suits contests 8,159 ballots, claiming that they had spelling and handwriting errors that should have disqualified them as votes. The suit further asserts that even some of the correctly-written ballots for Murkowski may be fraudulent. The suit effectively prevents state officials from officially certifying Murkwoski’s victory, as they had hoped to do by November 29th.The result of this race, the only still-undecided race of the November 2 Congressional elections, will not affect the new makeup of the Senate, where Democrats retain their majority despite six seats having been taken by the Republican Party.