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Alaska’s Miller sees hope in military vote

Republican Senate nominee Joe Miller thinks he could get a boost from absentee ballots. Republican Senate nominee Joe Miller thinks he could get a boost from absentee ballots. (Klas Stolpe/ Juneau Empire/ AP)
Associated Press / November 15, 2010

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JUNEAU, Alaska — Republican Senate nominee Joe Miller is watching absentee ballots from military voters as he takes his next steps in Alaska’s still-undecided Senate race.

Miller, who visited the vote-counting center in Juneau over the weekend, said he doesn’t intend to spend a lot of time and energy fighting over ballots if the math doesn’t add up in his favor.

But he indicated that the military vote could go heavily for him. The deadline to receive absentee ballots from overseas and military addresses is Wednesday.

“I think to call the race, to say that their vote doesn’t matter, to forget about counting their votes, I think that’s an inappropriate approach,’’ he said.

Miller is hoping for another upset of incumbent Senator Lisa Murkowski, who ran as a write-in candidate after losing the Republican primary to Miller.

The state has so far recorded more than 98,500 write-in ballots cast. Thousands of absentee and challenged ballots have yet to be checked.

The count so far shows Murkowski with an undisputed 89.6 percent of the write-in vote, a trend that has largely held throughout the process. Another 7.9 percent was credited to her tally but challenged by Miller observers, generally for things like misspellings or penmanship.

Murkowski’s campaign believes it needs to win at least 90 percent of the unchallenged vote to declare victory.