Judge Deals Blow to Murkowski Campaign

by Daniel Foster

An Alaska judge today granted a temporary restraining order that would stop state elections officials from distributing the names of write-in candidates at the polls, dealing a major setback to the write-in effort of Sen. Lisa Murkowski.

The AP reports:

Anchorage Superior Court Judge Frank A. Pfiffner said the division was in clear violation of an administrative regulation.

The regulation reads, “Information regarding a write-in candidate may not be discussed, exhibited, or provided at the polling place, or within 200 feet of any entrance to the polling place.”

Pfiffner enjoined the Elections Division from allowing election workers and polling place workers to post write-in candidates, to provide a list of write-in candidate names to voters or to verbally provide the names of write-in candidates to voters.

“The judge has clearly ruled that the law should be upheld, and Alaska voters deserve a fair and legal election,” Patti Higgins, chairwoman of the Alaska Democratic Party, said in a statement. “The court’s ruling ensures that the Division of Elections and the State of Alaska cannot give special treatment to any write-in candidate.”

The Alaska Democratic Party sued Monday to stop the Elections Division from providing the information and the Republican Party of Alaska joined the lawsuit. They claimed the names would skew voting in favor of write-in candidates.

More here.

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