For Joe Miller, Election Season Never Ends
Some people don't know when their 15 minutes are up.
Joe Miller appears to be one of them.
It's been more than a month since November's midterm elections when the former Alaska Republican Senate candidate lost to write-in candidate Lisa Murkowski, but Miller can't--and won't--count himself out.
Shortly after the election, Miller filed a state lawsuit over the vote count in the Senate race. His claims include improper overcounting of write-in votes for Murkowski, a failure to count votes for him and possible voter fraud.
"He said that in unnamed precincts, voters may have been allowed to take ballots even if they didn't have identification or weren't personally known to election officials. As evidence, he said, ballot rolls in some precincts failed to indicate whether the election official had asked for identification," The Anchorage Daily News reports. "And he said that 'in several precincts,' handwriting samples indicate that the same person or a small group of people wrote in names on multiple ballots. He said that would be a violation of a requirement that a voter personally pen the name of a write-in candidate."
The case's first hearing is scheduled for Wednesday.
Tom Diemer of Politics Daily writes, "Miller is challenging Murkowski's apparent victory in state court, asking that a judge set a single standard of review for all of the write-in ballots cast on Nov. 3. But even if all of the ballots challenged by Miller's observers were thrown out, Murkowski would still hold a 2,169 vote edge."
But that number doesn't seem to matter to Miller, who has fighting words for his critics, who include state GOP Chairman Randy Ruedrich, who once supported Miller, who said he should "respect the will of the voters" by conceding.
In response to a request from Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) to drop the case, Miller said Begich should "get back to work and stop wasting time in D.C."
Miller gained popularity last spring after Sarah Palin and the Tea Party rallied behind him. He would go on to beat Murkowski in the Republican primary in an upset.
But the Republican Party left the candidate in the dust when he began falling to Murkowski in the polls in the days leading up to the election.
Miller has been linked to all kinds of shenangians including:
Becky Bohler of the AP reports, "The legal challenge has left the Senate seat in limbo just one month before the race's winner is scheduled to be sworn in. If the fight drags on, Alaska could be left with only one senator until the dispute is resolved. That means the next Senate would be a 99-member body as it returns to take up important matters like tax cuts."