Even Norm Coleman thinks it’s time for Joe Miller to give up his Alaska Senate fight. “I think that race is over,” Coleman said in an interview that will air this Sunday on C-SPAN’s Newsmakers. “I think the counting’s been done I’m not sure there’s anything that would change that.”
“It should be time to move on,” he said. “There’s not much that you can gain by extending the process.”
Coleman said that he “understand[s] Joe’s frustration,” citing his own drawn-out race for Minnesota Senate which he ultimately lost to Democrat Al Franken. In that race, Coleman filed a lawsuit with the state Supreme Court after a recount gave the race to Franken, who had initially trailed by a slim margin before the start of the recount. As Eric Kleefeld wrote in June 2009, eight months after election day, the courts rejected Coleman’s claims that:
a) ballots were let in for Franken that shouldn’t have been, b) ballots for Coleman that should have been allowed were not, and c) damaged absentee ballots that had been duplicated ended up being counted twice, favoring Franken.
Joe Miller has made comparable claims in his own suit, arguing that write-in candidate Sen. Lisa Murkowski has an unfair advantage because her ballots were counted by hand, while Miller’s were counted by occasionally malfunctioning machines that also reject ballots with stray marks. He also argues it is against the law to count misspelled ballots as votes for Murkowski, which the state did if it could discern “voter intent.”
The tea party-backed Miller won a surprise victory over Murkowski in the Republican primary, only to fall short to her historic write-in bid in the general election.
Now, Coleman thinks it’s time for Miller to give it up:
I made a decision in my race with Franken. At a certain point in time I said, “OK, let’s not go any further.” Could I have brought it to the Supreme Court? Yes. I think at a certain point in time, you have to have some finality to these things.