State Judge Rules Against Miller, In Election Challenge

State judge rules in favor of state, against Miller, in election challenge

Original post:

State Superior Court Judge William Carey is expected to rule this afternoon on Joe Miller’s challenge of the Senate election. The ruling is sure to be appealed to the Alaska Supreme Court.

The timing is key. Federal Judge Ralph Beistline has blocked certification of Lisa Murkowski as the winner in the Senate race until the state courts decide on Miller’s lawsuit. The new U.S. Senate is to be sworn in Jan.5 and the state says Alaska will be left with just one senator, Mark Begich, if the election isn’t certified by then.

The state filed a flurry of motions in Beistline’s federal court arguing that Miller is trying to slow down the process and urging Beistline to speed it up.

“If certification is enjoined beyond the convening of the new Congress in January, the state will suffer significant and immeasurable harm through the loss of full representation in the Senate,” said a motion filed by acting Alaska Attorney General Richard Svobodny.

The state wants Beistline to lift his order blocking certification of the election if Miller loses in state court today and doesn’t file his appeal to the Alaska Supreme Court by the close of business on Monday.

Otherwise, Miller would have 30 days to appeal.

“Mr. Miller’s conduct of the state litigation suggests that he is strongly motivated to delay a final determination of the election result,” Svobodny wrote. “He opposed expedited consideration of the state’s Motion for Summary Judgment, and just yesterday, after full briefing and oral argument on the state’s motion for summary judgment on all counts, moved to amend his complaint to add a new claim and requested discovery to try to give substance to his entirely speculative allegations.”

The state is also asking Beistline to force Miller to argue any remaining federal legal issues at the same time that the Alaska Supreme Court considers the state court lawsuit.

“This is the only way to assure that the issues in this case can be resolved before January 5,” Svobodny wrote.

The only ruling Beistline made so far today is to require Miller to file a motion by Monday morning in response to the state’s request for federal legal issues to be dealt with right away.

Posted: December 10, 2010 – 1:01 pm

From Sean Cockerham in Anchorage –

Update, 2:55p.m.:

Superior Court Judge William B. Carey just ruled in favor of the state and against Joe Miller in his challenge of the election. Miller has until Tuesday to appeal.

Download the ruling here.

We’ll be updating shortly.

Update, 2:20 p.m.:

Lisa Murkowski’s legal team filed motions this afternoon asking to be allowed to intervene in the federal lawsuit Miller filed.

She was already given permission to intervene in the state suit.

Murkowski argued in the motion that she should have received more votes than she did, because the state didn’t count ballots where voters wrote in her name but failed to fill in the oval.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Syrin
    Dec 10, 2010 @ 15:58:02

    Elections director disputes Miller’s claim that felons voted – KTUU

    Joe Miller, who’s challenging how the state conducted the election, claims hundreds of convicted felons from Alaska’s sex offender database cast ballots. Miller’s campaign compared sex offender data to voter rolls.

    It’s not clear how many offenders had their right to vote re-instated. The campaign wants to investigate further.

    Miller suggested this could be part of a larger number of felons allowed to vote.

    Division of Elections Director Gail Fenumiai says a sex offender unconditionally discharged from his sentence can apply for reinstatement of voting rights, though his or her name may still appear on the offender registry. She said she had no concerns that large numbers of felons were wrongly allowed to vote,0,4162290.story


  2. Kevin
    Dec 10, 2010 @ 21:38:34

    This is ridiculous. Alaska has, I trust, secret ballots. If ineligible convicted sex offenders voted, there is no way to determine which ballots were theirs and throw them out. Miller’s only hope is to show that there were enough questionable ballots to change the result of the election were they to be disqualified. So how many ineligible sex offenders supposedly voted? A hundred? Two hundred? Is there any reason to presume that they overwhelmingly cast their ballots in favor of Lisa Murkowski? Particularly since Joe Miller’s “get-the-government-out-of-my-life platform is just what a registered sex offender would go for? Get real!


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