Our view: Count in, race over

Voters chose Murkowski; time for Miller to concede

November 18, 2010 

Sen. Lisa Murkowski aimed to make electoral history and she has.

Alaska's senior U.S. senator turned a long-shot, write-in campaign into victory. At last count, she had a 10,400-vote lead. Even if every one of more than 8,000 challenges by Miller was upheld, and that is extremely unlikely, Murkowski would still win by about 2,200 votes.

This one is over.

Both camps kept a sharp eye on the painstaking count of the write-in vote. Joe Miller's campaign had every right to look at every write-in ballot and was free to do so. The process couldn't have been more transparent.

As for Miller's suggestion that Alaska's electronic voting system is suspect, where's the evidence? Alaska's system has worked well for years. The Republican nominee may not like the results, but there's no sign that the system was broken, manipulated or malfunctioning.

In fact, the Division of Elections and Alaska voters deserve credit for taking a stormy campaign in stride. We disagreed with the division's decision to provide a write-in list. But when the Supreme Court cleared the list, the division provided it and instructed poll workers in proper procedure. Voters could ask for the list, but it couldn't be displayed. Voters could look at it, but couldn't take it into the voting booth.

As near as we can tell, election workers followed the law and voters exercised their right to vote, including their right to write in a candidate. The election was clean.

A plurality of those voters chose Lisa Murkowski over Joe Miller and Scott McAdams. That's the decision that matters. That decision is clear now.

Miller should simply recognize reality and concede. He can pursue his suspicions of the state's electronic voting system. He can pursue his challenge of write-in votes that weren't perfectly spelled as registered by the candidate. If he does, he should do so on his own time and dime, with the understanding that the outcome of this election is in the history books.

We believe he'll lose any argument for perfect spelling over voter intent. We know he's lost the election.

BOTTOM LINE: Voters chose Sen. Lisa Murkowski. Joe Miller should acknowledge the decision.

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