The final hours of the Alaska Republican Senate primary between Senator Lisa Murkowski and attorney Joe Miller could be coming to a close tomorrow. The incumbent, Ms. Murkowsi, appeared blind-sided and did not realize how in danger her seat truly was until it was too late. Almost one week after primary Tuesday passed, about 20,000 absentee ballots need to be counted. As of Monday evening, Joe Miller leads Ms. Murkowski by a 1,600 votes.
Not anticipating any legal battles later on, Mr. Miller told me Monday evening “We’re confident in the process. It’ll work. Obviously we’re eagerly anticipating the results tomorrow. We believe the outcome will be on our favor,” he said. “A significant percentage of absentee votes are military and active duty military. They have supported us overwhelmingly in this race. In addition to that the questionable ballots in which there are several thousand outstanding also reflect motivated voters will count significantly in our favor.”
Earlier, reports pointed to concerns from the Miller camp regarding vote tampering from the Murkowski campaign, but Mr. Miller seems confident Alaska’s Division of Elections properly handled the issue.
“It’s our understanding that a letter was sent to the Division of Elections about inappropriate activity that occurred in one of the count stations involving a person named Mike. Later the Divisions of Elections did confirm that it was indeed Mike Roman who was observed doing anything outside of the rules imposed by the Division of Elections. It’s our understanding that Mr. Roman has left the state or is leaving the state today.”
Some news bogs reported that Mr. Roman was a National Republican Senatorial Committee lawyer, but Mr. Miller could not confirm such information.
“I don’t know whether he worked with the NRSC or not, so I don’t believe he did. I took Senator Cornyn at his word. I believe he [Mr. Roman] was hired by the Murkowski campaign.”
According to the Miller campaign, the concern over the ballots went back to the absentee voters being contacted by the NRSC about their votes in an attempt to “make challenges” and “skew the results.”
Originally, the NRSC sent a lawyer to advise the Murkowski campaign but recent reports say Senator John Cornyn, Texas Republican and Chairman of the NRSC has told Mr. Miller the NRSC would remain neutral during the final ballot count.
It should be noted that last Thursday, an NRSC spokesman was adamant that the organization only supports GOP incumbents, unless the incumbent loses the primary.