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Campbell: 'The state will continue its efforts to count write-in ballots'

Craig MedredAlaska Dispatch

Lt. Gov. Craig Campbell, who oversees the Division of Elections, issued the following press release around lunchtime Wednesday:

(November 10, 2010) - Lt. Governor Craig E. Campbell held a press conference today in Juneau regarding the recent lawsuit filed by U.S. Senate candidate Joe Miller, the write-in ballot count and allegations of bias.

Miller filed suit in Federal Court Tuesday in an effort to stop the write-in count from proceeding alleging voter intent is addressed in Alaska state statute.

"From the beginning, it has been our position that slight misspelling of a write-in candidate's name would count. I have not waivered from this stance. The state will continue its efforts to count write-in ballots, unless we hear otherwise from the courts," Campbell said.

Absentee ballots were counted in Division of Elections regional offices yesterday with a total of 27,270 ballots tallied. As of last evening, the ballot counts were 92,528 for write-in candidates and 81,195 for Joe Miller.

Campbell also addressed the issue of voter intent and allegations of bias. "As Alaska's Lieutenant Governor, I believe it is my duty to ensure voters are not disenfranchised," said Campbell. Time and again the Alaska courts have erred on the side of enfranchising voters and I would be shocked if that changed."

He continued, "We have a process in place which is unbiased, fair and respectful of the electorate and state law. It is our intention to ensure that all valid votes are counted and that voters are not disenfranchised."

The write-in ballot counting is expected to continue through the end of the week.

Follow the write-in count at AlaskaDispatch.com.