November 14, 2010 in Nation/World

Senate nominee says fight over ballots depends on math

Miller trails in write-in votes
Becky Bohrer Associated Press
 

Miller
(Full-size photo)

JUNEAU, Alaska – GOP nominee Joe Miller won’t spend a lot of time, energy and effort fighting over ballots in Alaska’s still-undecided Senate race if the math doesn’t add up in his favor, he said Saturday.

But Miller said he won’t make any announcements until after absentee ballots come in next week from military voters, a constituency that the Army veteran believes could go heavily for him.

“I think to call the race, to say that their vote doesn’t matter, to forget about counting their votes, I think that’s an inappropriate approach,” he said Saturday.

The state has so far recorded more than 98,500 write-in ballots cast. The deadline to receive absentee ballots from overseas and military addresses is Wednesday.

Miller hopes to pull out another upset of Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who ran as a write-in candidate after losing the Republican primary to Miller in August.

Saturday marked the fourth day of a write-in ballot hand count that could stretch well into this week, with thousands of absentee and questioned ballots yet to be combed through. The count Saturday showed Murkowski with 74,449 votes, or 89.6 percent of the write-in vote undisputedly – a trend that has largely held throughout the process. Another 7.9 percent was credited to her tally over challenges by Miller observers, generally for things like misspellings of her name or penmanship.

Murkowski’s campaign believes it needs to win at least 90 percent of the unchallenged vote to declare victory.

Miller’s vote total, as of Friday night, was 87,517.

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