Murkowski’s Fight Continues

Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski’s bid to retain her seat continues, as she appears to have taken a slim lead with the write-in ballots. She is mounting an historic campaign despite losing the nomination of her party to Joe Miller. With the support of Sarah Palin, Miller won the Republican nomination for Senate, upsetting the incumbent. Instead of just stepping aside, Murkowski decided to fight for the seat regardless, and apparently she knew she had a strong base of support.

The process of write-in ballots allows voters to write the name of a candidate who does not officially appear on the ballot. Therefore, a candidate who does not garner the nomination of their party, such as Murkowski, can be elected if they receive enough votes where their name is scribbled (legibly). There are many logistical problems with such a campaign though. There are legal requirements that must be met in order for a write-in ballot to be counted. Obviously, the candidate’s name must be legible, and spelt correctly (or one letter off). This is not in Murkowski’s favour, as her name is not the most common. There are also concerns about making sure the ballot has been filled out correctly. The other difficult part of a write-in campaign is making known the fact you want to be considered as a write-in candidate. When your name is printed on the ballot, voters see it when they enter the booth, and simply have to check a box. When they are required to write the name of their preferred candidate, it is not as likely they will take the effort to do this.

Obviously Miller is going to fight very hard to make sure Murkowski does not win. His team has already discounted many write-in ballots due to problems with spelling and the like. Murkowski would be overjoyed to win her seat again. Not only would she pull off an historic win, she would be able to sport a cheeky grin the next time she sees Palin. The history between the Palins and Murkowskis is rocky, at best. Palin herself unseated Lisa’s father Frank Murkowski for the Republican nomination for governor. He was the incumbent Republican governor in 2006. We all know she then went on to become governor. This was preceded in 2002 when Frank passed over Palin to nominate his daughter Lisa for the Senate seat she is now contesting. Then upon Palin’s resignation as governor, Lisa made sure to voice her displeasure with her decision to quit. Lisa stated in her write-in campaign that she would not abandon Alaska voters. Palin shot back during the campaign, comparing Lisa’s lack of class with Miller’s honour. Then, if that wasn’t enough, Lisa came out stating she did not feel Palin was suitable for the job of president. Shocking! Murkowski stated Palin lacks the necessary leadership and intellectual curiosity necessary to be president. Somewhere in Texas, George W. Bush’s ears are burning.

Frank Murkowski never got a chance to use this bumper sticker, thanks to Sarah Palin

This whole soap opera has continued to keep Alaska in the spotlight. The northern state has been under the media spotlight ever since that fateful day in August 2008. At this point I am not going to make a prediction as to who will win. Either way, it will be a while before we know. They are still counting write-in votes, and then there will be the process of recounting any ballots in question. There could be legal proceedings, depending on how close the final count is. Meanwhile, Democratic candidate. Scott McAdams watches on. Everybody knows he really has no chance of winning. Alaska is a fairly solid red state, so the race is between Murkowski and Miller. It is funny to see so many people in the same party fighting with each other. Who knew Alaska could be so interesting!


About Chris James

A student of political science at a Canadian University sharing stories of interest on Canadian and American political and social issues.

Posted on November 16, 2010, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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