Alaskan superior court judge William Carey has ruled against Republican senate Joe Miller, stating that it is appropriate for election officials to count misspellings of Sen. Lisa Murkowski as write-in votes for her. From the Anchorage Daily News:
The Miller campaign argued state law didn’t allow misspellings to count.
State law says write in votes should be counted 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.”
The judge focused on the fact that the law includes the word “appears.”
“The definition of ‘appears’ in this context does not require perfection or precision, but rather a close, apparent approximation known to the viewer upon first look. This seems to the court the far more reasonable interpretation of the term than the rigid meaning attributed to it by (Miller),” the judge wrote in his ruling. “If exact spellings were intended by the legislature, even with respect to the most difficult names, the legislature could have and would have said so.”
Murkowski is ahead of Miller by 10,000 votes, 8,000 of which his campaign had challenged for misspellings or other possible irregularities.