Murkowski gets 98% of the first 20% of write-in votes
Dateline Wasilla, Alaska (That's where I am): The Anchorage Daily News (ADN) reports that on the first day of counting write-in votes in the Alaska senate race, Lisa Murkowski received 98% of the write-in votes so far. On this first day approximately 20% of all write-in votes were counted.
That being said, the devil is in the details:
- 89% of the write-in votes were unchallenged
- 8.5% of the votes were challenged by Joe Miller's team, but awarded to Murkowski
- Division of Elections Director Gail Fenumiai accepted minor misspellings
The ADN story reports that Joe Miller needs to keep about 12% of the write-in votes from going to Murkowski, which is close to the number I calculated a few days ago.
As a final note, the issue of accepting misspellings will almost certainly go to court if the number of misspellings is large enough to make Joe Miller the winner. For instance, if the counts change dramatically, and "Murkowski" is spelled wrong on average 15% of the time, Mr. Miller could win the race if he successfully challenges misspellings being allowed. However, I don't think the current 8.5% pace is enough for Mr. Miller to win, and I'd be very surprised if he would create a legal challenge at that point (though I've been run a zillion times before, lol).
The counting of the ballots is taking place in a smaller warehouse-like building in Thane, outside Juneau. I'd love to be there, I really think this would be interesting to watch.
Here's a link to the ADN story.