Joe Miller’s lawyers are asking for state troopers to be stationed at Alaska elections offices, charging that there are serious shenanigans afoot involving improper shredding and that Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s observers of the ballot-counting brought an illegal iPhone into the room.
Those are just two allegations in a new letter from Miller’s attorneys to Lt. Gov. Craig Campbell and state elections officials that detail serious concerns and will make the sustained vote counting all the more interesting.
The Tea Party Express group, which spent more than $500,000 in a last-minute effort to put Miller over the top in a primary to unseat Murkowski, is emailing supporters a copy of the letter with the ominous subject line: “Irregularities Arise in Alaska Vote Count - URGENT!”
Tea Party Express organizers complain that Murkowski has “teams of lawyers and political hacks to influence the counting of ballots,” and asks supporters to sign a petition asking the National Republican Senatorial Committee to butt out.
“The NRSC, the Murkowski campaign and the Republican political establishment in Alaska are doing everything they can to steal Joe Miller’s apparent victory away from him. We must fight back,” they wrote. “We went through this with Al Franken in Minnesota when the Democrat Party pulled this stunt - we can’t stand for it in Alaska with the Republican Party establishment.”
Miller said Monday on ABC’s Top Line that he got the NRSC to pull out of the state. He said Chairman John Cornyn “gave me his word that he was pulling his team out Saturday night.”
Miller said he doesn’t know who hired the “national folk” who have descended on Alaska. “But there certainly is an effort still underway I think to skew the results in favor of the opponent,” he said.
Over the weekend, Miller’s team flagged for supporters an Anchorage Daily News story detailing phone calls from people who said they were with the NRSC canvassing Republicans absentee voters about how they marked their ballots.
NRSC aides said the party committee has made no such calls, and the lone lawyer they sent to help Murkowski already has returned to D.C. after three days in Alaska. The Murkowski campaign has not returned our calls.
“These outside interests could undermine the will of Alaskan voters!” Team Miller warned, asking for donations.
In the complaint letter, which you can read here in full, Miller’s lawyer writes:
This is a close election. Even just a few ballots illegally tampered with could alter the outcome. How can Joe Miller, and the thousands of honest voters in Alaska who voted for him, have confidence in the result if a Murkowski observer had 20 minutes of unfettered access to the State’s GEMS server? And the state’s own report states tampering can be accomplished within a minute.
According to eye witness accounts, Mike openly texted while reviewing voter info, in spite of the briefing by the division, and the rules set forth in the observer handbook. Kim Swanson asked a state poll worker to intervene, and that employee again told Mike to put away his iPhone. He refused, and then resorted to holding the iPhone under the table by his lap to hide his texting. After his iPhone battery apparently died, Mike was then observed writing information while reviewing records.
The Daily News reports there are 23,472 ballots to count when the first step begins on Tuesday.
Additional reporting by David Taintor
H/T Dan Riehl
UPDATE: The Anchorage Daily News reports that “Mike” is Mike Roman, the founder of Election Journal and a Murkowski campaign consultant, who Alaska Division of Elections Director Gail Fenumiai says did not access Division of Elections computers during the process.
Alaska Division of Elections Director Gail Fenumiai just told me a major part of the allegation against Murkowski elections consultant Mike Roman appears to be incorrect. Fenumiai said the information she has received from the Elections Division’s Wasilla office is that Roman was not on the state computer with the Division of Elections voter database.
Fenumiai said Roman would not have been able compromise the state’s election management system regardless. “There is no GEMS server in the Wasilla office so there’s no way the state ballot tabulation system was compromised,” Fenumiai said.