One Man's Alaska

Alaska write-in law (statute) and the Lisa Murkowski campaign

November 9, 2010

Okay, it took a little while to find this, but here is the Alaska write-in law (statute), as I specifically wonder about the recent Lisa Murkowski write-in campaign. (I looked for this after someone added a comment to my earlier Lisa Murkowski write-in article.)

(10) In order to vote for a write-in candidate, the voter must write in the candidate's name in the space provided and fill in the oval opposite the candidate's name in accordance with (1) of this subsection.

(11) A vote for a write-in candidate, other than a write-in vote for governor and lieutenant governor, shall be counted if the oval is filled in for that candidate and if the name, as it appears on the write-in declaration of candidacy, of the candidate or the last name of the candidate is written in the space provided.

(12)(b) The rules set out in this section are mandatory and there are no exceptions to them. A ballot may not be counted unless marked in compliance with these rules.

There are a few other Alaska write-in candidate rules, but they don't relate to the current Alaska Senator campaign, so I haven't included them here.

I found these rules on the findlaw website.

More on the Alaska write-in law

Meanwhile, the Anchorage Daily News has dug a little bit into other write-in laws, and found there is a little lee-way allowed for absentee ballots. There was case in Colorado where "Lamb" was allowed as a spelling for a write-in candidate named "Lamm" because the voter intent was clear.

They also include this statement, which both says something, and then contradicts itself:

And both Lt. Gov. Craig Campbell and elections director Gail Fenumiai suggested last month that the benefit of the doubt would be given to voters as long as their intent is reasonably clear. Later, however, Campbell said that the Division of Elections would proceed according to statute and wouldn't answer any hypothetical questions.

As for me, I'm just waiting to see what happens with this Alaska write-in law ...

back to the One Man's Alaska front page