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6,000 More Ballots Counted in Alaska, Miller's Lead Drops to 1,300

6:20 PM, Aug 31, 2010 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
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The Anchorage Daily News is live-blogging the counting of 25,000 absentee and questioned ballots in the Alaska Senate GOP primary between Joe Miller and Lisa Murkowski. Miller started off the day with a 1,668-vote lead. After 6,000 ballots were counted, his lead now stands at 1,294.

ADN reports:

The Alaska Division of Elections plans to count about 14,000 votes today. There will be at least 11,000 more additional ones to process for additional counts scheduled for Friday and for Sept. 8.

We’re done with the Anchorage count for today, although Anchorage questioned ballots (at least about 3,000) and a small number of Anchorage absentees remain to be counted on a later day. Most the Mat-Su absentees have also been counted as part of today’s tally, although there an additional at least 1,200 questioned ballots from Mat-Su to be counted on a later day.

Juneau started counting at 1 p.m. and we should be getting its results soon. Fairbanks will start counting at 3 p.m. [local Alaska time]

As Michael Barone wrote last week, Murkowski did best in Anchorage and Miller did best in the Mat-Su valley. Miller carried Fairbanks and Kenai-Homer-Kodiak by slimmer margins, as did Murkowski in the Southern Panhandle (Juneau and Ketchikan) and Alaska native majority regions. At the current rate that Murkowski is gaining on Miller, it seems that Miller is in a good position to hold on to the lead. But stay tuned. Anything could happen.

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