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Alaska Supreme Court Rules Against Miller In Senate Race

December 28, 2010 by  

Alaska Supreme Court rules against Miller in Senate raceTea Party favorite Joe Miller is running out of options in his quest for the Senate. On Dec. 22, the Alaska Supreme Court upheld a lower court's ruling that dismisses Miller's claims of impropriety in the state's handling of the ballots for incumbent Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).

Miller, a Republican, had until yesterday to plead any outstanding issues he may have with the election results, which unofficially have Murkowski leading by about 10,000 votes. Miller's campaign, however, has challenged the validity of votes in which Murkowski's name was spelled incorrectly. His team claims that the state violated the Elections and Equal Protections clauses of the United States Constitution by choosing which write-in votes to count.

Murkowski entered the race as a write-in candidate after Miller defeated her in the primary election.

Alaska's high court voted 4-0 to uphold the lower court's certification of the election, concluding that "any misspelling, abbreviation, or other minor variation in the form of the candidate's name on a write-in ballot does not invalidate a ballot so long as the intention of the voter can be ascertained," quoted by FOX News.

According to, Murkowski's team said the decision clears the way for the Senator to be sworn into the next congressional session on Jan. 5. Miller spokesman Randy DeSoto said that they are "disappointed" by the high court's ruling, and they will weigh their options before deciding to seek further legal action. 

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  • http://none Mike

    Well who said we could trust courts to decide elections. When they can overide their own laws to make sure we keep a rino in con-gress. This state had laws in place about writeins that if they were misspelled or abbriveated they were not to be counted. Had this been a conservitive what do you want to bet the ruling would have been diffrent.Mike L.

    • Doug in Michigan

      Mike: You are absolutely right. That write-in law needs to be observed — not overruled by the court! The court is supposed to ensure that laws are correctly applied.

    • TIME

      As I read the laws on the books its really quite clear that the courts are wrong on this issue, thus one needs to ask what is it that the states Courts are are up too?

      Its very sad that even in the wilds of Alaska “corruption is standardized with the DC beltway.”

    • Donald

      Right! Just like when Bush was appointed, not elected, by the Supreme Court. As they used to say after that appointment: ” Get
      over it”.

      • TIME

        Perhaps you are unaware that from JFK to Barry Soetoro your vote for a POTUS has never been.
        The 2000 elections / appomintment was no differant than the 1960 Appomintment, the 1964 Appomintment, or 1968 or 1972, or 1976, or 1982, or 1986, or 1992, or 1996, or 2004 or 2008. So whats your point?

        Are you awake? From your post I have observed it would seem not. But perhaps your just not very clear on what you think you know.

  • rjim

    I’ve been disappointed in the Democrats for a long time and now I’m just as disappointed in the Republicans. There are just too many Rinos and openly corrupt Republicans. We need TWO NEW PARTIES to represent the American People!!!! As someone else said, the USA is no longer a land of laws, it is a land of opinion.

    • Flynn

      The least thing America needs is two new poitical parties. We have enough political parties and enough politicians. What the country really needs is more honest, hard working people actively participating and voting in the two major parties, thus making them honest, hard working instruments of democracy. It’s not impossible. All we need are the people: voters and candidates. Let’s have fewer self serving politicians and more honest, hard working citizens participating in government. Then, we will have a more honest, hard working government. Until that happens, our government and country will remain on the verge of extinction. The Grecian democracy in Athens only lasted between 200 to 300 years. The American experiment is now at a critical point of either extinction or survival as the greatest experiment in the history of mankind.

      • Kinetic1

        Again, we may differ on who we want, but we agree on the need for change in the system. The problem as I see it is that we will never have qualified candidates from the middle and lower class so long as it requires millions of dollars to run for office. If we were to institute public funding laws and reduce a candidate’s exposure to publicly televised debates, then we might have a chance. Nothing does more to damage an election than allowing a candidate to make claims against their opponent in a commercial. Every candidate should be forced to make these sorts of claims to their opponent’s face, allowing them a chance to rebut.

      • http://none Mike

        Flynn,The problem I see with the good honest working people getiing elected. Is they no longer have the millions of dollars it takes to run a campagin. The market so to speak has priced farmer Joe right out of the politicle arena. Unless we start having privetly funded elections this will be the case. We need to have the citizen funded elections. Where mom and pop support a canidate.That canidate will have to work for the people at that time and the parties will come to represent the people more at that point.

        Right now with block funding the parties choose our canidats and parade them out with a pre prepared platform. That seldom have very much to do with what the people really want. Thus for a long time we have had to choose between the lesser of 2 eviles. Mike L.

    • Doug in Michigan

      Sadly, you are correct with your observation that “the USA is no longer a land of laws, it is a land of opinion.” Our elected officials use laws only when it serves their interests. Otherwise, it’s usually a case of “the squeaky wheel gets the grease.” And, boy, is there a lot of greasing being done in American politics.

  • Flynn

    Either all ballots should be counted or none of them. No one can ascertain the intention of a voter except that voter. When the state and its courts begin to choose which votes to count, our system of free election is doomed. If there is one uncertain vote in the past election in Alaska, then the people of Alaska deserve another election, and another, and another until it is gotten right. Democracy is costly, and it is worth it only if it is done right, maintaining the right of the people to be heard in an honest and fair manner, thus insuring the maintenance of confidence in the entire process.

    • Kinetic1

      “When the state and its courts begin to choose which votes to count, our system of free election is doomed.”

      I agree with you in principle, but it did little good to complain in the 2000 election, so why is everyone so surprised now? Remember, in the Palm Beach County ‘butterfly ballot,’ Florida voters who voted a straight Democratic ticket went unquestioned when they inexplicably voted for Pat Buchanan. Talk about needing to determine the intent of the voters! That was just one of many complaints, both from Democrats and Republicans about improper election activity in Florida, yet the Supreme Court had little trouble deciding that it would be detrimental to America to require that Florida clean up it’s act and try again.

      As far as the number of “uncertain votes”, allowing one vote to stop an election would be a nightmare. Candidates could (and likely would) use this as a monkey wrench and drag out elections for years. There will always be errors or purposeful omissions. Only in those cases where the number of “uncertain” votes could affect the outcome should there be any consideration of a re-election.

  • J.M.R.

    by hook or crook the cow goes on to screw the alaskans some more.

  • Papa

    Unfortunately, it looks like Mr Miller has lost, and one of the reasons is that “We The People” no longer understand our own form of government. We live in a “Constitutional Republic” and that’s a far different animal than a “Democracy.” Until we figure out the difference (most don’t appear to know) and force our elected officials to conform to it we won’t see any improvement…

  • SLIM4X4

    Democracy is costly? What happened to a CONSTITUTIONAL REPUBLIC?

    • Doug in Michigan

      Americans had better wake up and study our Constitution. I hope it’s not too late. I graduated from high school in 1979 in upstate New York. I never even heard about a Civics class in public education. It wasn’t even an option! How can we survive as a Constitutional Republic when probably 95% of American citizens (I don’t count illegal immigrants in that number!) parrot the LIE that we are a democracy?

      • Donald

        The didn’t want you to know. They still don’t. That would stop government by Ivy League graduates.

      • http://?? Joe H.

        I got out of Tecumseh High school in Michigan in 1968 and we still had Civics and it was one of the classes I breezed through. I won’t say it was because I was smart or it was an easy class. We did, however study the constitution in history and we were taught how our form of government is SUPPOSED to work and this isn’t it!!!

  • Angel

    Maybe the people disagreed with what Joe Miller stood for and voted for someone else? After all, he has some pretty extreme views.

    • jim

      EXTREME VIEWS!!??,,, like adhere to the CONSTITUTION, LESS TAXING, LESS SPENDING??!! Unlike the LIB DEM HAG lisa!!??

    • marvin

      you are right as for millers views being extreme if beliveing in following the constitution is what you are refering to as being extreme that i disagree the constitution is for all the people and not just them that belive in what it saz ,when you take the oath of office you swear to up hold the constitution not just parts of it but all of it,i think the constitution like the bible saz just what it means

      • Angel

        Joe Miller wanted to change the Constitution, not follow it. Among other things, he wanted to revoke the amendment that calls for direct election of U.S. senators. That doesn’t sound like democracy, that sounds like putting more power in the hands of the dominant politicians.

        According to him, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and even unemployment benefits are unconstitutional, as he told Chris Wallace on Fox. Sounds pretty extreme – especially after his wife receiving unemployment benefits and he got subsidies from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He is just another big phony – railing against big government handouts yet living just fine off of our dimes.

        Enough is enough. I do not know about everyone else but I am tired of these loathsome and hypocritical candidates who are adamant about slashing government aid programs, while living off of the government dole themselves. If someone wants to run for office and impose their extremist ideology on the rest of us, that’s fine, that’s what elections are for. But enough of the blatant and disgusting hypocrisy.

  • FlaJim

    It seems that more and more, courts tend to agree with the powers that be. The Murkowskis have been a big deal in AK since statehood and managed to shower the state with incredibly fat benefits, complments of me and you other losers who live in states that shell out more than they ever get back.

    These judges know what side their bread is buttered on and the slimeballs will always rule in favor of the ruling creeps.

    Did I offend anyone with my language? Good.

    • http://?? Joe H.

      The only way your language offended me is in that it didn’t go far enough!!!

  • jim

    I want to know the degree of the involvement of the RNC in fighting for the ONLY Republican candidate who won LEGALLY against the turncoat RHINO HAG lisa??!! From what i hear,,not much,, because of mikey being upset about Joe the TEA PARTY candidate Joe!!! MIKEY THE RHINO MUST GO!! MIKEY MUST GET FULLY BEHIND THE TEA PARTY OR GET OUT!!!!!

  • jopa

    It’s a big win for Alaska the way Murkowski is able to bring more funding for Alaska than the Alaskans pay in.The rest of us are the losers for her being so good at her job.

  • marvin

    one good thing she is no longer a repub and won,t have to act like one,like liberman and sanders mad cow lisa can vote with her party of choice dembocrat,their an,t no ind in congress just wantabe,s liberals,just look at minnesota and that joke they played on the american people al frankinstine,you just can not fix stuped, you replace it,here in alabama the dems had been it control of the both state houses for 135 years now the repubs are in control both fed sen are repubs, and my rep is a repub, i email and call them allmost ever day,and they will send me a letter about ever week or email me,my addvice it get with the program write call email fax [numberusa has free faxing on immigration]let them know, we the boss are watching them and how they vote,and give to the candidate of your choice ,for nothing will change lest we the people get involved and say no more, tell them to do as we say do, not what you want,they can not hide how they vote now,get mad get involved let them know you will not support them,

  • hundabuxt

    Murkowski is a RINO in the truest sense. She demonstrated that with her recent lock step votes with the Dem’s helping them push through the Obama agenda befor the new crop of hopefully conservatives arrive. She’s a liberal female canine otherwise known as a During the campaign she crowed about Miller taking money from outside interests when in fact she took money from Washington State interests, most likely the fishing industry which treats Alaska like their colony having fished out their own waters. Her win was largely made by the fear the native interests had that their free federal money stream might get reduced or shut off.

  • http://Persoanllibertydigest Jim

    One has to wonder why exactly these people voted the way they did — It always sadden me to think that people would vote for corrupt person who promises them the world at our countries expense — I have no knowledge of the internal workings of Alaska — But some of the Pork projects I’ve seen and heard about proves that until we put a stop to them, Politicians like Ms Murkowski will get elected.

  • Donald

    All the folks complaining about the election should take heart. It means that if the people get together they can write in a candidate of their choice, rather than one picked by the party bosses

  • JohnnyK

    Get over it people. She won fair and square.

    • Angel

      A bunch of sore losers here.

    • http://?? Joe H.

      That depends on if you call not following written election law to the letter fair and square! The alaskan election law states that ALL abreviations and mispellings in write-in votes be tossed. May not sound fair to you but that is the law and this is a country of LAWS!!!

  • Bolivares

    I live in Alaska and can tell you that Murkowski was the lesser of two evils. People in AK were very wary of Joe Miller due to his campaign violaions in a previous race in Fairbanks. The man is a crook and a liar. Murkowski is a privileged silver spoon candidate, but at least she has done more good for Alaska than Joe Miller was poised to do…he was going to take AK down a dangerous and erroneous path. It’s a good thing a majority of Alaskan voters could see through his facade.

  • kodiakTom

    Alaskans went to the polls, They voted. The truth is Mr.Miller Lost, end of story. Sadly Mr. Miller is attempting to use the courts to rewrite election law. The courts ruling is not done in a vacume, over fifty years of previous desisions were examend.
    Any way you cut it Mr. Miller is trying to steal votes away from honest citizens.
    Does he realy represent the tea party?
    Is STEALING votes what the tea party is all about?
    Think about it

  • Norm

    If anybody sees a problem here – what is it?

    The lady won no matter how you cut it. The fact that Miller is an idiot isn’t even an issue.
    Vive la Constitution!

    By BECKY BOHRER Associated Press

    JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) – A judge on Friday ruled against Republican Joe Miller’s lawsuit challenging how Alaska counted write-in votes for rival Lisa Murkowski in their Senate race, delivering a crushing blow to the tea party-backed candidate’s longshot legal fight.
    Judge William Carey’s ruling all but ends Miller’s hopes of getting relief in state court. Miller can appeal to the state Supreme Court, and his spokesman said he was mulling the option, but Carey cited past decisions by the high court in his ruling.
    The judge said his decision to throw out Miller’s lawsuit wouldn’t take effect until Tuesday to allow time for an appeal.
    Miller spokesman Randy DeSoto said there are still outstanding issues “in terms of wanting to get a true and accurate count, and we don’t feel like we’re there yet.”
    Murkowski called on Miller to concede, telling The Associated Press: “It’s time to end this. It’s time to say that the election is over.”
    The ruling marks a victory for Murkowski, who sought to become the first U.S. Senate candidate since 1954 to win as a write-in. Senators are scheduled to be sworn in Jan. 5, and the legal dispute has thrown into doubt whether someone from this race will be included. Murkowski’s attorneys have argued that her seniority is at risk if she isn’t sworn in then.
    Miller’s attorneys had asked Carey to strictly enforce a state law calling for write-in ballots to have the oval filled in, and either the candidate’s last name or the name as it appears on the declaration of candidacy written in.
    Miller argued the state shouldn’t have used discretion in determining voter intent when tallying ballots for Murkowski. The state relied on case law in doing so and allowed for ballots with misspellings to be counted toward Murkowski’s total.
    “If the legislature intended that the candidate’s name be spelled perfectly in order to count,” Carey wrote in his much anticipated ruling, “then the statute would have included such a restrictive requirement.”
    Unofficial results showed Murkowski ahead by 10,328 votes and still in the lead by 2,169 votes even when excluding votes challenged by Miller’s campaign. Carey said whatever interpretation he made would not change the outcome of the race, that “Murkowski has won by over 2,000 unchallenged votes.”
    Posted: Dec 10, 2010 7:05 PM EST Updated: Dec 21, 2010 11:45 AM EST

  • chuckb

    the welfare crowd and cross overs(democrats) beat miller and most likely barry had the seiu involved like nevada. the republican party should dump her shes nothing but a low life democrat.

    • http://?? Joe H.

      Unless the union in Alaska has changed immensly, I doubt the SEIU did much of anything there. When Jimmy Hoffa went up there to throw his weight around, they told him to get right back on his plane and not to come back!!! they didn’t like other unions up there!

  • Dee

    I’ll just bet that there was some illegal voting in Alaska.

    • Norm

      The agony of defeat. Stop sobbing!

  • chuckb


    that’s why we have to clean up the vote in this country, the elections are becoming more dis-honest. 2012 will bring out more illegal’s voting for barry and the seiu will be in full swing bringing in the graveyard vote.

    • http://?? Joe H.

      Now that I’ll agree with you on!! My father died in Michigan in 1999 and I’ll bet he voted at least twice or three times since!!!

    • Norm

      Ah the world of fantasy. In the words of Joe Friday “All I want is the facts maam.”

      • chuckb

        norm, all you have to do is check out the harry reid election in nevada, al franken in minnesota just for starters. the obvious illegal vote first showed up in orange county, ca, during the robert dornan vs loretta sanchez election years ago. it was obvious, but the liberal media chose to turn their head. al gore tried in florida and even with the help of the media lost, thank god.

  • Stan Smith

    I sure noticed The Libtards Cheering for Cowski! and the Libtards saying Joe Miller trying to steal and fix the election Ummm excuse me! It’s you democraps/Libtards been stealing and fixing elections using the foreign countries playbook how to steal elections for a long time! It shows how The Libtards hell bent on supporting Cowski! The Liberal RINO. Repubican RINO = Democrap votes! I see No news Libtard media dumb down people from Alaska! forget FOX not my cup of tea at least it pis*s off the Libtards! and their no news media gee only one media against the Libtard no news media NBC ABC CBS MSNBC & CNN and other major Libtard newspaper attacking FOX Gee 5 against 1 Libtards attack in packs when FOX takes most of their viewers and Talk radio and other independent media takes more of viewers & listeners! Yep people are Idiots for keep re electing Bums and Crooks over and over, See AK – Cowski, AZ- Juan McCain NV-Hairy the Body Odor Reek, MA- Barny Fwank! ect.. Can’t put all the blame on the Idiot people who keep re electing losers,NO News Libtard media need to take the blame for making people brain dead idiots! FOX is not helping much either,

  • http://PersonalLibertyDigest Wiselady

    wiselady says:


    Keep going, Joe Miller, the US Supreme Court needs to clean up the mess. Check in on advertising inside a booth.

    In my county you may not put up any campaign signs near or inside the voting boothes. I am not too sure if it is a state law or only county but, the isssue of people wearing bracelets with Murkowski”s name would have counted as campaign material and would not have been allowed. Furthermore, if people can’t spell or think for themselves, I suggest they improve their educational standards in Alaska.

  • kodiakTom

    Mr. Smith I would think your vertical hold is in serious need of ajustment. I will cast my ballot for who I think best represents my intrests. If you have a candidate who is honest and will answer a simple question without dodging into a bunker or twisting that question into a difrent question.
    I just might vote for that candidate.

    But you are at least a thousand miles away from me.
    By the way
    Case Dismissed.
    tuff luck Joe.

  • Stan Smith

    @ kodiakTom Please continue to be a Lemming continue to vote for the bums who will destroy your state! A lemmings like you who cries whats going on why nothing is fixed?? Blame yourself It’s Idiots like you who keeps re electing bums on hell bent destroying this country by the radical Libtard Left & RINO’s! and you need a serious education on whats really going on The real world!

  • clark

    It’s funny that all of the postings submitted are about the constitution and mis-spelled names; however only a few are correct spelling of the American English, and most anti-democrat, yet all seems to be living on government subsideries, bet you can’t wait for your federal refund check or social security. Get real – vote “grizzy momma, no brain palin, then you’ll see our country collapse. Further, we will see what the “REPUKES” does in jobs.

    • http://?? Joe H.

      I admiar yew! I wush i cud spull lak yew! Et mist be grate tu be as hi aund migty lak yew!!! tak kare!!

  • chuckb


    before throwing rocks, check out your own spelling. ‘subsideries”?


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