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Alaska's Candidates at Mercy of the Courts Alaska's Candidates at Mercy of the Courts

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Alaska's Candidates at Mercy of the Courts

Murkowski and Miller each dealing with political setbacks.


Sen. Lisa Murkowski.(Liz Lynch)

Updated 7:30 a.m. on October 28.

Being able to spell Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski's name just became a little bit easier for voters. This after the Alaska Supreme Court decided late Wednesday that voters can look at a list of certified write-in candidates as they head into the voting booths, the Anchorage Daily News reported.


This decision reversed some bad news for Murkowski in a ruling from a lower court made earlier in the day. That judge had granted a temporary restraining order that stopped state elections officials from handing out write-in candidates’ names at polling places, the Associated Press reported.

In that 13-page ruling, Anchorage Superior Court Judge Frank Pfiffner said Alaska’s election Elections Division in planning to distribute names of the write-ins was ingoring regulation preventing providing information on write-ins within 200 feet of any polling place."

Both the Alaska Democratic Party, working on behalf of former Sitka Mayor Scott McAdams, the Democratic nominee, and the state Republican Party sued to prevent distribution of the write-in information.


The decision to allow lists of candidates names to be handed out at the polls is a boon for Murkowski, who is running a write-in campaign to keep her seat after her narrow August primary loss to tea party favorite Joe Miller.

The ruling followed the court-ordered release Tuesday of documents from Fairbanks North Star Borough which show Miller admitted he lied in 2008 after being caught using computers for political purposes while he working,

In a March 17, 2008 e-mail to Fairbanks North Star Borough attorney Rene Broker, Miller acknowledged, "I lied about accessing all of the computers. I then admitted about accessing the computers, but lied about what I was doing. Finally, I admitted what I did,” Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.

According to the report, Miller went on three of his co-workers' computers to vote in an online poll, apparently connected with his failed effort to oust" Alaska Republican chair Randy Ruedrich. Miller cleared the computer’s caches to hid his tracks, but in the process cleared their passwords and saved websites."


Polls show a close race between Miller and Murkowksi with McAdams trailing, but are widely considered unreliable due the difficulty of polling a write-in bid.

Ben Terris contributed contributed to this article.

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