Anchorage, Alaska. November 16, 2010 — The Joe Miller campaign is pleased the Division of Elections will allow access to several precinct registers for review; however, the Division has not responded to the campaign’s request to review the voting tapes generated by the voting machines at the polling places. These tapes tally the total number of votes cast.
The Joe Miller campaign filed suit last Friday in state court in Juneau in order to compel the State to fulfill its legal obligations under the Public Records Act and allow inspection of the election registers from certain precincts that voters signed before casting their ballots. The Division of Elections had been unresponsive to the Miller request. The lawsuit simply asked that representatives from the campaign be given access to inspect the election registers.
Given the contested nature of the election, time is of the essence to ensure the vote count is trustworthy and that each valid vote is counted, and that there is no opportunity for fraud to taint the election results. Irregularities at polling places have been noted both Election Day and during the ballot review process including sworn affidavits testifying to unsecured ballot boxes and ballot envelopes arriving in Juneau presorted by the Senate race: these ballots are not to be handled in this fashion prior to the write-in review.
Miller Campaign Chief Counsel Tom Van Flein noted, “The campaign determined that inspection of precinct registers was an appropriate audit to spot check the process. The registers will provide data on the number of people who signed in to vote which can be matched with the number of votes tallied for each precinct.”
Another essential verification of the vote totals will be a review of the voting tapes created by the vote counting machines from the precincts. The Miller campaign has requested a review of the tapes from certain precincts, but thus far the Division of Elections has refused to respond to this request.
Miller campaign spokesman Randy DeSoto said, “The review of these tapes will help ensure the accuracy of the vote count. The Alaska Democratic Party brought suit against the Division of Elections in 2006 because of the wide variation in the Division’s “Official Results Statewide Summary” and the “Statement of Votes Cast” reports. The Democratic Party’s complaint noted in 2004 there was a 77,546 vote discrepancy for Lisa Murkowski between the two reports. We want to avoid any such reason to doubt the results in this election.”
DeSoto added, “At the end of six days of ballot counting, the race between Joe Miller and Lisa Murkowski is still very close. The number of Joe Miller votes is 90,448, while the number unchallenged votes for Lisa Murkowski stands at 84,563. If current trends continue, Murkowski’s final unchallenged tally will be in close proximity to Miller’s total. Additionally, there are hundreds of ballots yet to be counted including those from overseas military personnel, which may draw the overall numbers between the Miller and Murkowski even closer. The race is far from over.”