U.S. District Judge Ralph Beistline(AK) ruled Friday that Republican Senate candidate Joe Miller’s challenge to the counting of write-in ballots raises “serious” legal issues and is a matter for a state court to decide. Judge Beistline granted a temporary injunction to halt official certification of the Nov. 2 election — an action Miller is seeking — so long as Miller takes his case to the state court by Monday.
To clarify, U.S. District Judge Ralph Beistline said that if Miller files a lawsuit in state court on or before Monday, the results should not be certified until the legal issues have been resolved, AP says.Miller conteneds that Alaska law requires voters to correctly spell the name of write-in candidates. State election officials have allowed ballots with minor misspellings of “Murkowski.”
In his ruling Beistline wrote that this action was intended to “ensure that these serious state law issues are resolved prior to certification of the election”. He allso said a state court is in “the best position, at least initially, to apply Alaska law and to determine who won this election.”
Miller wants the law adhered to strictly and asked Beistline to keep the state from certifying the election results based on a count of ballots that aren’t in line with it.
The target date for certifying the race is Nov. 29.