The Watch

Joe Miller Sues Over Spelling As Alaska Write-In Vote Count Continues

Further proof that Tea Party candidates hate democracy and are the enemies of American has just been provided by batshit crazy Alaskan Tea Party candidate Joe Miller, who shocked the country when he unexpectedly received the Republican party’s nomination instead of sitting Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski. Essentially forced out of the Republican party by Tea Party extremists for not being far enough to the Right, Murkowski mounted an effective independent write-in campaign which, with 99% of the precincts reporting, comprised 41% of the vote, to Joe Miller’s 34% and Democrat Scott McAdams’ 24%.

That was simply unacceptable to Joe Miller. Clearly the will of the people only matters if it matches up with his own desires and intentions.

So, Joe Miller has filed suit to contend that any vote that misspells Lisa Murkowski’s name should not be counted as the state tallies write-in ballots in the U.S. Senate race. Miller is asking a judge to stop the state from making a judgment on a voter’s intentions if the voter wrote in something other than “Murkowski” or “Lisa Murkowski.” State law allows no leeway for other spellings, his lawsuit says. In other words, even if the voter clearly intended to vote for Lisa Murkowski, if their spelling of her name is not “dead-on”, Joe Miller wants their vote thrown out.

Despite the lawsuit, the state is preparing to start checking and counting the more than 92,000 write-in ballots cast in last week’s election. Gail Fenumiai, the state’s elections director, said she plans to start this counting at 9 a.m. The state counted about 27,000 absentee and early votes Tuesday, according to Fenumiai, with Miller gaining on the write-in total by about 2,100 votes. At the end of the day, Miller remained 11,333 behind the write-in total.

The Murkowski campaign reacted to Tuesday’s lawsuit by accusing Miller of trying to toss out legitimate votes for the eight-year incumbent. “They’re trying to discount as many votes as possible from Alaskans,” Murkowski campaign manager Kevin Sweeney said.

No one should be surprised. The usual Republican tactic at voting time is to dispatch poll watchers to intimidate voters at polling places and challenge their right to vote. Whenever Democrats try to mobilize their base and get people out to vote, Republicans say they’re trying to steal elections. It’s not unusual for Republican operatives to call the homes of registered Democrats and tell them that their polling places have been changed, or to go into minority neighborhoods and falsely tell people that voters with legal problems will be arrested by police if they try to vote. It’s been proven time and again that Republican candidates cannot when if Democrats, Independents and minorities show up in force. Therefore, voter suppression is a tried and true tactic of the Republican party.

Joe Miller, like other Tea Party nutjobs like Sharon Angle and Christine O’Donnell, considers himself to have been appointed by God. It’s in their rhetoric. Therefore, it’s inconceivable to a megalomaniac like Joe Miller that he could lose to a mere write-in candidate. The voices in his head told him this would turn out differently. It couldn’t possibly be his former membership in a group which supports the secession of Alaska from the United States which hurt his chances of being elected. Or his rejection of Global Warming, the Theory of Evolution and government programs such as Medicare and Social Security that alarmed Alaskan voters. Or that his personal security handcuffed and detained a reporter that dared ask inconvenient questions in a public place. Clearly, any voter who would dare write-in someone else’s name in the voting booth rather than vote for Joe Miller is trying to steal the election from the rightfully appointed ascending star.

It’s unlikely that enough people spelled Lisa Murkowski’s name wrong to wipe out the 7% lead she apparently has over Joe Miller. Even if he manages to disenfranchise a lot of Alaskans, Miller is unlikely to make up that lost ground. Someone should, perhaps, tell Joe Miller that you challenge elections when they’re close, not when you’re 7% down and tens of thousands of votes behind. If this man had an ounce of class, he would do the right thing and let the vote counting play out before rattling his saber. But no one expects that. By launching a preemptive strike against a write-in campaign of Lisa Murkowski, Joe Miller has revealed much about his character and shown the people of Alaska just what kind of senator he would have made. We are fortunate that at least in this one election, Americans are smarter than the Tea Party fascists believe them to be.

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