100 Alaskans sign up as write-in candidates
The other day the Alaska Supreme Court ruled that election officials could provide a list of write-in candidates to voters who asked for it (a lower court judge had ruled officials could not do this). In protest, more than 100 Alaskans have registered as write-in candidates:
A stream of would-be senators filtered through the elections office in Midtown Anchorage late in the day, many saying the effort is meant to protest an order by the Alaska Supreme Court on Wednesday allowing a list of write-in candidates to be shown to voters who ask for assistance.
The court action is expected to aid Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s write-in bid and amounts to electioneering by the state, say supporters of Republican nominee Joe Miller. The idea of a mass registration is to create a long list of potential write-in choices and make it harder for voters to find Murkowski’s name.
“(Murkowski) should have ran harder before the primary. And she didn’t. And she lost,” said Veronica Keanaaina of Eagle River, who signed up as a candidate in protest.
Hers was one of 56 Senate write-in applications the Anchorage elections office received in person or by fax in just 45 minutes late Thursday afternoon, said election clerk Raymond McAndrews.
KFQD 750 AM radio host Dan Fagan, a Miller backer, urged voters to sign up in an act of “civil disobedience” — defying what he calls an illegal effort by the state.
It's a myth that a voter has to spell "Lisa Murkowski" correctly--the Alaska law determining voter intent is fairly broad. "If I am able to determine the voter's intent, then the ballot would be counted accordingly," Alaska Division of Elections director Gail Fenumiai told the Anchorage Daily News. But it would be interesting to see what would happen if someone with the same last name had registered. The closest they've got among the 40 candidates listed now is Joe S. "Steve" Morawitz--so it looks like Murkowski's lost the "Lisa Morawitz" ballots for now.
Update: Ben Smith spots another "Lisa M." on the ballot--Lisa M. Lackey.