Today is Joe Miller’s deadline for filing suit in state court over the Alaska Senate race, following a federal judge’s order that the election certification be delayed pending a review by the state court.
Miller filed an injunction in federal court last week to stop the certification for write-in candidate Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R), who has already declared victory. The AP has also called the race for Murkowski. The tea party-backed Miller won a surprise victory over Murkowski in the Republican primary — only to fall short in the general election.
Miller has argued that the count of the write-in ballots for Murkowski was unconstitutional because it counted misspelled ballots as votes for her. Miller has also requested that all of the votes in the election be recounted by hand, citing possible computer errors that might have occurred when his own ballots were being tallied.
District Court Judge Ralph Beistline granted Miller the injunction, but ruled that since “this is a State-wide election, conducted under State law, involving State candidates and impacting State citizens,” the “Courts of the State of Alaska are in the best position, at least initially, to apply Alaska law and to determine who won this election.”
Miller applauded the injunction ruling in a statement on Friday:
I am gratified to have Judge Beistline recognize that we have raised vital questions concerning the ballot review in this election. It is critical that these issues be resolved not only for this election, but for future ones in Alaska, as well. We are a nation of laws, and the law concerning this could not be clearer. We need the state law applied consistently to all ballots cast. We look forward to the state court’s interpretation of the relevant laws consistent with what the people of Alaska enacted through their state legislature.
But according to the Alaska Dispatch, Miller is still trying to keep the federal courts involved, filing a new motion Friday that argues that “the vote count process in Alaska’s U.S. Senate race violates a number of laws including the Elections and Equal Protections Clauses of the U.S. Constitution, the state’s own election codes and Alaska’s Administrative Procedures Act.”
“As the Division counted the write-in ballots, it became clear that it was implementing a discriminatory policy that gave a substantial advantage to write-in candidates,” the Dispatch reports Miller’s attorney Thomas Van Flein wrote in the filing.