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Friday, January 28, 2022

State Court Rules Against Joe Miller in Election Suit (But it ain't over yet…)

In the battle of Miller v. State of AK v. Murkowski v. Voter Intent v. Election Integrity, the next bell has sounded.

Today Superior Court Judge William Carey ruled against Joe Miller on all counts in his suit against the state. Carey stated that he saw no evidence of election fraud, and allowed the state to consider voter intent in casting ballots. Part of Miller’s suit suggested that any ballot not perfectly spelled for Murkowski should be disallowed, stating that the state law was very clear on that point.

It all boiled down (on that point) to what the word “appears” means. Law states that the name on the ballot must be the name “as it appears” on the candidate’s filing paperwork. “Appears” according to Miller’s team means it must exactly match. “Appears,” the judge ruled,

“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.”

“In interpreting statutes in election law contexts, the Alaska Supreme Court has emphasized the importance of giving effect to the will of the people as expressed in the exercise of their vote,” the judge wrote in his ruling put out this afternoon.

No real surprise here, as courts tend to rule in favor of voter intent – a good policy to ensure that voters are not disenfranchised. If the founding fathers had counted spelling, voters would have been in big trouble.

Elections Director Gail Fenumiai has said her standard for accepting ballots was “if I can pronounce the name by the way it’s spelled.”

Let’s hope when this is all done, we can agree on a standard that is a little more precise than one person’s ability to master Hooked on Phonics.

The other issues of hand count vs. machine tally, the appearance of one person filling in multiple ballots, voters who were not signed in in the register book, etc. were also ruled in favor of the state.

The state has not yet certified the result of the election, and cannot do so until the results of the suit are decided. Once the vote is certified, Miller may then ask for the recount.

Miller has until Tuesday to file an appeal to the State Supreme Court on the matters decided today, which in all likelihood he will. So, sit back, relax and we’ll see what happens next week.

[Download the complete ruling on .pdf HERE]

And to catch up on the highlights of Miller’s lawsuit click HERE.

To find out why a recount is a good thing, regardless of what motives are, click HERE.



38 Responses to “State Court Rules Against Joe Miller in Election Suit (But it ain't over yet…)”
  1. kiksadi50 says:

    the longer miller is allowed to drag this on,the longer Ak. is under-represented during crucial voting before the new house takes over.look at Al Franken & how long his ratification went on (& how much it cost).Boy did he make a great speech on the floor about the tax cuts bill the other day.Utube it.Meanwhile palin is doing her ‘cookies & bibles’ photo-op with her sidekick Greta V.Sean Penn has shown great restraint so far by not saying anything,as someone who has been in the trenches doing human/service work for months & has never to my knowledge referred to the devastated,starving,disease riddles,homeless,jobless,abandoned,peoples as “joyous”.we alaskans contributed to elevating palin to where she is now we have the responsibility to back Obamma,even when he disappoints so that when the GOP & Tea P. takes over the house in the New Yr.the voices of people like palin,sharon angle,ron paul & John ‘Bonehead” ,maj.leader,will be drowned out by rational people pushing back,& calling people like palin on her b.s.

  2. dogrowdi says:

    LISA MISS’D HER PILL TIME AS WELL AS SLICK JO!..NOW..NOW! the corporate native constituents can weep in there dry coffee can! the lisa “murkowlski” coffee can!..i have mex-kimo relatives in bethel ak. i am very sad that they went for him/her miequowizki frank vote..n-stead of mcadams..or!who else? no one step’d forward! no one but scott! stepp’d forward! and stood up for us demo’s here in bum f–k alaska! g-d damn it!..where are the pills! damn! we could have had tony..gravel!!! shit! i gotta have a beer! by i love all my friends!

  3. Gemini says:

    Off-topic, but wondering … Did anyone see the recent Palin’s Alaska (like she’s there so often, and owns so much of it) .. where everyone at the fishing place were wearing heavy, hooded coats … and there stood Sarah holding Trig … who didn’t even have a jacket on, let alone a hat?

    Sorry, but that one really bothered me … Mama Grizzly not doing any better than that for her youngest ‘cub.’

  4. flex gunship palin says:

    joe you was robed ,fight on -fight on ,spend all your money that could go into your next run for office .

  5. Go Joe! Take it all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary.! How many votes for Mirkowksi were cast by dead people? How many for you were dumped in the nearest river? Keep the pressure on!

  6. Schroon Lake says:

    Aren’t these Palindronic teabaggers the same bunch of geeks who are always telling us how they, and only they, represent the people’s will?

  7. Carol says:

    I thought that the whole campaign issue that Miller had was state’s rights. If he goes to the US Supreme Court, isn’t he asking the federal government to get involved on something the state should handle?

    • Rob in Ca says:

      Joe is not being hypocritical at all.

      If the State is wrong, he will just ask the Supreme Court to make the State Right.

      Actually, far right…but that’s a different issue….

  8. SchoolMarm says:

    Even with a less exact definition of “appears,” Alaskans should, I think, hope Gail Fenumiai doesn’t run as a write-in candidate in the future.

  9. far from fenway fan says:

    Had a crazy thought that maybe it’s NOT such a bad thing if this election isn’t certified for a long time. Why? Because that prevents Lisa from voting against EVERYTHING!

  10. GoI3ig says:

    Excuse me while I retrieve my popcorn from the microwave. This is great. I hope he drags this thing out for a couple of months. I also hope that the princess drops to number 100 in seniority. Lock-step Lisa showed her true colors already. She couldn’t flip flop fast enough on DADT. She got in line like a good little minion, and voted to filibuster the defense spending bill.

    The only difference between having Lisa and Joe in D.C., is which restroom they will use.

  11. Eddie in Anchorage says:

    “Miller has until Tuesday to file an appeal to the State Supreme Court…..”

    The judge’s decision says he has until Tuesday, December 13.

    December 13 is Monday.

    So, which day is the deadline?

  12. slipstream says:

    We could skip all the court appeals and go directly to dueling pistols . . . a fine American tradition.

  13. kiksadi50 says:

    I don’t understand the remark about “hooked on phonics”.Are you making fun of people who misspelled Murkowski? I misspell words all the time.Maybe I shouldn’t be allowed to vote.Maybe, if we over haul the procedures for how we vote in this state we should try to remember that there are many ‘first languages’ in this state.English is not the official language.There are many Native Elders who are fluent in their language (Tlingit where I live) but can’t read or write Tlingit.It’s an oral culture.Maybe we should come up with a way to vote in this state that meets the needs of all the cultural entities in the state.It shouldn’t be neccessary to know how to spell a candidate’s name correctly; thats absurd.Pat Buccanan of MSNBC stated recently, that he thinks it would be a good idea to limit voters to property owners & to people who speak English.If he had his way,only white male property owners would be allowed to vote.This state was founded & developed by the Native people.Lets develop a procedure that benefits & empowers every voice in the state.

    • kizzy says:

      I pretty sure that intent behind AKM’s “hooked on phonics” comment is only that as a standard, it is too subjective — leaving room for turning to the courts for interpretation.

      If you can challenge write-ins written in cursive, with comma’s, with the word “Republican”, “Murkowsky, Lisa,” and the one that really made me furious — hearts to dot the i’s, you’ve got a standard that is too loose.

      Nice job on the rest of the post. it really summed the issues that need to be addressed.

    • kathy67 says:

      re: Pat Buccanan

      Does this mean that if you rent your house or apartment, or mobile trailer, you wouldn’t be allowed to to vote? If someone owns 5 homes can they vote 5 times. And of course, all children above 18 who still live at home also could not vote. And all those who lost their jobs and home, could not vote. And all wives whos names were not on the property titles, could not vote. That would really go back to the 1700’s.

  14. marcuswelbymd says:

    Joe is such a cry-baby! A poster on another blog stated that Joe might still stand a chance if he handcuffs the judge to a chair out in the hall.

  15. Zyxomma says:

    I would say there’s nothing new under the sun, but that would be mean (because there isn’t too much of that in AK at this time of year). It’s too bad you’ll have only one Senator for awhile, but considering how Lease-A votes, it can wait.

    The only bright side of this is that McAdams won’t be an unknown commodity next time he runs for statewide office. When I finally make my trip to Alaska, I think I’ll swing by Sitka to look him up and give him a hug.

  16. Winski says:

    Hey Mudd…..

    Is this likely to turn into a Norm Coleman Minnesota look-alike 6-9 month spectacle??

    I sure hope not… You guys NEED something new and letting this string out for months would distract a lot of folks on other things that need to get done…

    I looks like Miller is just taking money and orders from DeMinto and going day-to-day trying to keep Alaska tied up as long as possible…

    To TOTALLY change the subject, what’s up with the attitude on the other Swag-O-Rama you got up there, uhhh, oh yeah, that Palin swill…?? Does she think a six-grade expose of playground bully talk is attractive to voters?? N O T !!!

  17. Ice Gal says:

    I supported and voted for Scott. He was the only person in the senate race that had integrity, and believed that global climate change was real.
    But joe. You go joe. If he can keep the election tied up in the courts, and keep that poor excuse for a human mur-cow-ski from being seated in the senate. Have her loose her seniority then he just might be the best t bag on the planet!

  18. Sarafina says:

    Does anyone think it will take the full eight months it took to defeat sore loser Norm Coleman in Minnesota?

  19. Lee H says:

    He better not use all his campaign funds on the election appeals–he will need something to live on while he tries to resurrect his legal career. Good luck iwth that, Joe.

  20. ks sunflower says:

    You’d think after of a couple of centuries we could have figured out how to do this correctly.

  21. Lacy Lady says:

    What a sore loser!!!!!!!!

  22. gens says:

    Is he related to Rod Blagojevich ? ….one thing for sure, they don’t give up easily.

  23. Cassie Jeep says:

    Are we taking bets as to whether (or when) Joe will file an appeal….after all, it has nothing to do with what the people of Alaska want…only what Joe Miller wants.

    Sheesh! When does this end?

    • Martha Unalaska Yard Sign says:

      Oh he’s filing an appeal all right!

      “Miller has said the possibility of a vacant Senate seat and the potential loss of Murkowski’s influence within the body does not concern him.

      The dispute will end up at the Alaska Supreme Court, and separately, in the federal courts, before November’s election results are finalized. Even after the a winner is certified and a senator sent to Washington D.C., options remain for both a recount and an appeal at the level of the U.S. Senate.

      In an interview with the Anchorage Daily News, Miller spokesperson Randy DeSoto has also indicated that he believes the Miller campaign has enough money to take the case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.”

      • leenie17 says:

        “Miller has said the possibility of a vacant Senate seat and the potential loss of Murkowski’s influence within the body does not concern him.”

        In other words, I don’t give a cr@p about Alaska as long as I get my way.

        Once again, I’m reminded of the candidate who lost the election and who TRULY had the welfare of Alaska as first priority. Murkowski is focused on regaining her prestige and power in the Senate, and Miller is focused on…well, I’m not sure what the hell he wants to do except take down the federal government. Only Scott McAdams genuinely cared about the future of Alaska and its citizens. Let’s hope that someday he gets the opprtunity to make a difference in a statewide or federal position of power.

  24. Martha Unalaska Yard Sign says:

    “Let’s hope when this is all done, we can agree on a standard that is a little more precise than one person’s ability to master Hooked on Phonics.”

    That’s the best interpretation I’ve heard yet – giggle. The Flea or Poll Fixer might even try to steal that one.

  25. Waxman says:

    “Under Miller’s canon of construction, no one would have rights because none of the laws have expressly provided for those rights.”

    That about sums it up

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