The Washington Times - November 8, 2010, 09:42AM

Apparently, Joe Miller, Alaskan Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, is concerned about the the sudden change of date for when the counting of the write-in ballots began. The Miller campaign released a statement on Saturday regarding how their campaign was notified about the date change:

The Joe Miller for U.S. Senate Campaign is concerned that the Absentee Ballot validation process began yesterday at 10 a.m without notification to the campaign. The Miller Campaign was told of the news from a Republican Party member approximately 11am yesterday who was informed of the decision that morning. In an e-mail to the Miller campaign, the Director of the Division of Elections, Gail Fenumiai, stated, “It is not the practice of the division to contact candidates or parties to notify them of the review dates,” even though the DOE’s “Election Observers’ Handbook” [version B14 (Rev 11/07), page 8] provides that the Division must “notify” the campaign “24 hours in advance the time of ballot review….”

In response to this news, Joe Miller said, “Our goal is to uphold the integrity of the voting process. Every vote that is cast correctly should be counted. All Alaskans deserve a free, open and fair election. Unfortunately, the State Division of Elections has decided to call that process into question with the constant maneuvering of dates and procedures.” Since the election Tuesday, the Miller Campaign has vowed to oversee the process to its conclusion, to ensure that the voters of Alaska have their rights protected.

Miller went on to say, “The State of Alaska has a statutorily defined election process, anything or anyone that deviates from that process is unsettling. It is fundamental that the public be informed of the ballot review schedule in advance. Our democratic voting process has at its foundation the Constitution and the statutes of this state, and any manipulation of this process for the purposes of expediency or convenience compromises those principles.”

Spokesman Randy DeSoto added that “we don’t know how many ballots were reviewed without fair scrutiny.”  

The absentee validation is occurring across the state in various locations. It is unclear why the Miller Campaign was not notified about the decision to begin validation Friday.


UPDATE 1: Alaska’s KTUU is reporting the following - 

An Alaska election official has disputed claims made Friday on Twitter by Republican U.S. Senate candidate Joe Miller’s campaign.

Miller tweeted that counting of absentee votes had been moved up to Friday. But Division of Elections Director Gail Fenumiai said that wasn’t true.

She said the absentee count will begin Tuesday — a week after the election, in keeping with standard protocol.

Miller’s campaign later corrected that statement, but then claimed the state had started the pre-count process of verifying absentee ballots without notice on its calendar or notifying the campaign.

Fenumiai says the calendar is available and starts two days after every election.

She says Miller’s campaign was at the verification after the primary, and her office doesn’t notify any candidates of review dates.

The Alaska Senate race is among a number of Congressional races across the country that is still yet to be determined and the GOP is poised to expand their pick-up margin in the House. Many of these races will likely not be decided until the end of November or well into December.