As I understand the state of play in the Alaska Senate race, the total write-in vote exceeds Joe Miller’s vote by almost 11,000. Last I heard, there were still some absentee votes to be counted. If so, Miller may be able to narrow the gap a little by virtue of these votes.
As for write-in votes, there are about 93,000 of them. Thus, unless uncounted absentee votes produce a real swing, Murkowski will win unless approximately 12 percent of the write-in votes either (a) are for someone other than Murkowski or (b) are thrown out because “Murkowski” isn’t spelled well enough.
Yesterday, about 20 percent of the write-in vote reportedly was counted. if that count is a reliable indication, Miller faces an uphill struggle. According to this report, 89 percent of the write-in votes counted went to Murkowski and were unchallenged by Miller. Another 8,5 percent were deemed cast for Murkowski by election officials, but have been challenged by Miller. The remainder were cast for another candidate or were deemed to be insufficiently clearly cast for Murkowski.
If the challenge rate increases slightly, Miller might have enough challenges to put the election in dispute (indeed, he may be challenging votes with an eye on his 11,000 vote deficit). If he does have enough challenges, he will need to win just about all of them.
Of course, if all of his challenges involve genuine misspellings, then he will win them all if the judiciary rules that the spelling of “Murkowski” must be perfect. But those seem like two pretty big “ifs.”
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