Joe Miller Will Not Go Quietly

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Nov. 18 2010 3:25 PM

Joe Miller Will Not Go Quietly

To recap: The (unofficial!) vote count in Alaska's U.S. Senate race is 100,868 write-ins for Lisa Murkowski, of which 92,715 are not being officially challenged, and 90,740 votes for Joe Miller.

Miller's response is not to concede, but to start rattling off possible grounds for challenges. The litany at his "Alaska Vote Count" micro site includes affidavits claiming that ballots were sorted before they got to the counting room, that identical handwriting appeared on ballots from some areas, that some ballot boxes were full, which suggests they were stuffed.

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There is actually a sort of left-right coalition challenging the vote count. Progressive radio host Shannyn Moore writes up her concerns:

Election chain of custody is the unbroken trail of overseeable accountability that ensures the physical security of our ballots during an election. Goldbelt Security Services was contracted by the Alaska Division of Elections to provide the security and transportation of the ballots to Juneau. Goldbelt is an Alaska Native Corporation with SBA 8(a) status-meaning they are eligible for sole-source, no-bid government contracts. The 8(a) program was relentlessly attacked by Joe Miller.  The Alaska Native 8(a)'s unanimously backed Lisa and provided tremendous financial support in the bargain. As they transported the record of the state's future, Goldbelt Security had a tremendous stake in the outcome of the election. Imagine if the Alaska Division of Elections contracted Drop Zone Security to transport and guard the election ballots. How would the Murkowski camp react?

Some lawyers hired to monitor the count have already left Alaska, so Miller looks desperate here. But the election isn't certified yet. The election was so damaging to his popularity and future prospects that he doesn't need to worry about looking like a sore loser if he keeps fighting -- it's go down fighting with endless recount demands, or just go down.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. You can reach him at daveweigel@gmail.com, or tweet at him @daveweigel.