Alaska Division of Elections Posts Write-in Totals for All Declared Write-in Candidates for U.S. Senate

The Alaska Division of Elections has posted a tentative tally of the number of write-in votes for all declared write-in candidates.  Other than Lisa Murkowski, no declared write-in candidate for U.S. Senate received more than eleven votes.  See the entire list here.  These totals are not final because some ballots are still arriving in the mail and also the counting is not finished.  The Division also counted write-ins for Joe Miller, even though he is not a declared write-in candidate.  He is credited with 5 write-ins.


Alaska Division of Elections Posts Write-in Totals for All Declared Write-in Candidates for U.S. Senate — 9 Comments

  1. This sure looks like Sen. Murkowski won an impressive victory. Despite what anyone may think of her politics it sure isn’t easy to win as a write-in for ANY position let alone the U.S. Senate.

  2. Well, the so-to-speak “official unofficial” results page:

    still shows this:

    Carter, Tim NA 875 0.35%
    Gianoutsos, Ted NA 434 0.18%
    Haase, Fredrick LIB 1397 0.57%
    McAdams, Scott T. DEM 57774 23.43%
    Miller, Joe REP 87517 35.49%
    Write-in Votes 98565 39.98%

    By contrast, the write-in summary page:

    shows this:

    Number of Precincts 438
    Precincts Reporting 433 98.9 %
    Times Counted 88076/494876 17.8 %
    Total Votes 88076
    Lisa Murkowski 78697 89.35%
    Murkowski (CC) 7059 8.01%
    Murkowski (CNC) 1740 1.98%
    Other – Misc. Names 518 0.59%

    And it goes on to list the other names, including the 8 for Joe Miller.

    But what do CC and CNC mean? Well, the main results page for the Division of Elections:

    has an explanation for the latter: “The number of votes shown for Murkowski CNC (Challenged Not Counted) includes ballots where the oval was not marked for the US Senate race, but a name was written on the line. These ballots are not included in the total number of write-in votes shown on the unofficial results.” So CC might well be Challenged [and] Counted.

    In which case, Murkowski has 78,697 write-in votes with her full name; 7,059 more votes with something questionable about them (challenged) but which are still/already being counted for her; and another 1,740 challenged and not counted.

    The first two categories combined total 85,756 votes; add in the third category, and she’s up to 87,496 votes. That’s 21 votes behind Miller. (Or 29 if they added in his write-in votes, though I suppose they won’t.)

    So maybe Murkowski hasn’t quite won yet, I guess. But there are five precincts left to count. . . .

  3. While they’re only listing 85756 votes counted for her (including 78697 uncontested), the total number of write-in votes tallied is listed as 88076. Given that they’re listing 98565 total write-in votes, that implies 10489 uncounted write-in votes in the remaining districts.

    Assuming those remaining votes break along the same proportions, that would result in an additional 9372 uncontested votes, plus another 840 contested votes.

    While the proportions may not be exactly identical, they’ve been more consistent than I’d have expected. That would add up to 88069 uncontested votes, plus another 7899 contested votes, for somewhere between 88069 and 95968 votes, depending on how many contested votes are counted.

    So at this point the real question is what the numbers will look like for each candidate in the remaining absentee ballots. When that’s done, either Murkowski will have a victory even if only the uncontested ballots are counted, which would likely end the election, or Murkowski would have a victory if some percentage of the contested votes were ruled in her favor.

    The percentage would depend on the court’s ruling on count standards, but it’s fairly clear some would be allocated to her under almost any standard, since there were some where the only real argument is over penmanship, not spelling. In those cases where the oval is filled in, and the name appears to be spelled correctly, it seems extremely unlikely that a court would throw out such votes just because they have unusual penmanship.

    If the election can be numerically decided without needing to count any misspellings, the court may well determine that it doesn’t need to rule on that question. 🙂

  4. By the way, from other articles I gather that in general CC were counted for Murkowski by the division of elections, but that ruling was challenged by Miller’s observers, and CNC were not counted for Murkowski, but that ruling was challenged by Murkowski’s observers. Those ballots are separated from the ones counted and uncontested, or uncounted and uncontested. That way the smaller groups where the campaigns disagree with the ruling can be examined in case of legal challenge, and the vast majority where there is no disagreement can be ignored.

  5. The party hack DONKEYS in the U.S.A. gerrymander Senate have the FINAL power who becomes the AK Senator.

    — i.e. they can throw out ALL votes in which the oval was NOT filled in and in which the L.M. name was NOT written in exactly correct.

    or just throw out ALL write-in votes and take major heat.

    Is L.M. a Donkey in disguise ??? Stay tuned.

  6. #4 There is something odd about the vote totals. If you go through the Statement of Votes Cast for each of the 40 House Districts, the sum of the number of votes cast for McAdams and Miller and Write-in match the statewide totals. This shows 102,028 write-in votes.

    But the write-in summaries for each district do not match the number of write-in votes shown on the statement of votes cast. Moreover, there is a different pattern based on which regional election office a house district is associated with. There are 4 regional offices:

    I: Juneau/Panhandle and some areas SW of Anchorage (HD 1-5, 33-36)
    II: Fairbanks/Central (HD 6-12)
    III: Anchorage (HD 13-32)
    IV: Nome/Aleutians, West Coast, North (HD 37-40).

    For Regions I and III, there are slightly more write-in votes counted than shown on the Statement of Votes cast. For example, in HD 1, there are 2478 write-in votes shown as being cast, but 2522 counted. If the extra 44 write-in ballots were late arriving, then it is conceivable that that there were late ballots for Miller and McAdams as well that are not accounted for in the Statement of Votes.

    Alternative explanations:
    (1) Votes originally counted for Miller and McAdams turned out to be Write-in votes and Statement of Vote has not been corrected.
    (2) Late arriving ballots for Miller and McAdams have been added to Statement of Vote, while write-in ballots have not been.
    (3) Sloppiness in counting write-in ballots. But this would have to have happened in all 16 House districts.

    The total extra write-in votes in these two regions is 785. But this could indicate a similar number of Miller votes (Miller had a very slim lead over Write-in in these house districts).

    For Regions II and IV, there are large numbers of write-in ballots that are not counted. These total 8053, and would account for the difference between write-in votes cast and write-in votes counted.

    For example, HD 13 reports that 3159 Write-in votes were cast, but only 2492 were counted. So even though it is shown that write-in votes in 100% of the precincts in the district have been counted, only 79% of the write-in votes shown as being cast were counted.

    Possible explanations:

    (1) Ballots without ovals filled are reported as write-in votes cast, but were not counted – or have not yet been counted. This would be inconsistent with the practice in the other two regions.
    (2) Some ballots were double counted in the votes cast. The ballots cast in all districts statewide in the US House and gubernatorial race were similar to that in the senatorial race (including write-ins). So if some ballots were run through scanners twice, then they would be double counted for those races as well.

    As it stands now based on the statewide total of ballots cast for Miller and McAdams, and the statewide tabulation of write-in votes (3 precincts not counted), then Murkowski would need 79% of the challenged but counted ballots to go her way. There is no indication that the Director of Elections was ultra-strict in her calls (she was reported to say that if she could pronounce it, she would count it). And both sets of challenged ballots – challenged but counted, and challenge but not counted have been segregated, so there is no reason to expect that she was actually putting the pronounceable, but misspelled ballots in the challenged not counted category.

    Given that Miller picked up about 2,000 votes in absentee ballots, it appears that he was quite correct to fully contest the election.

    OTOH, it is possible that there are another 8,000 uncounted write-in ballots in Anchorage and Nome, and when someone starts asking about why there weren’t 102,000 write-in votes tabulated, these will be sent to Juneau to be counted. “Oh yeah, maybe we should count those, too”.

    FWIW, the three missing precincts are in HD 2, 37, and 40.

  7. #7 The missing write-in votes for Regions III and IV have been found.

    So now the only discrepancy is about 1500 more write-in votes counted than were reported as being cast. If these were late arriving ballots, then there are probably a similar number of Miller votes not reported as being cast. Alternatively, the late arriving Miller votes were reported as being cast, while this was not true of the write-in votes.

  8. Better/quicker dog sleds and blimps needed to get ALL the ballots counted — before the Senate meets in 2011 ???

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