Injunction denied for write-in vote count

November 10, 2010 

A federal court judge has denied a request by U.S. GOP Senate candidate Joe Miller to immediately stop the state Division of Elections from counting write-in ballots that did not spell a candidate's name correctly.

U.S. District Judge Ralph Beistline said Wednesday in his written decision that Miller has demonstrated no potential for irreparable harm. Incumbent Lisa Murkowski ran as a write-in candidate in the Nov. 2 election. Miller is running second to write-in ballots. Miller wants to prevent the state from using discretion in determining voter intent and to throw out ballots that misspell Murkowski's name.

Beistline said the state's response to the lawsuit summed up his evaluation of the case to this point.

State attorneys said an 18-hour window to respond was unfair and there were no circumstances that required such a rapid response. Beistline gave the state until Monday afternoon to respond.

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