Alaska judge rules write-in candidates can't be listed at polling sites

In a decision that could strike a blow to the write-in campaign of Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), a judge ruled Wednesday that state elections officials cannot hand out the names of write-in candidates at polling places Tuesday. 

The judge pointed to language in the state's election code that bars information on write-in candidates from being "discussed, exhibited or provided" at polling places or "within 200 feet of any entrance to the polling place." 

Alaska's Democratic Party led the charge to prevent a list of candidate names from being disseminated at polling stations. The state party sued Monday to prevent the move and was joined by the state GOP.

"This is something that has never been allowed before and frankly, doing this was not a well thought-out decision," said state Democratic Party Chairwoman Patti Higgins. 

She argued that allowing voters to see a list of names of write-in candidates would offer Murkowski an unfair advantage.  

After an upset in the Republican primary earlier this year by Tea Party-backed Joe Miller, Murkowski decided to launch a write-in campaign to keep her Senate seat. 

Murkowski's campaign has engaged in a massive voter education effort, working under the assumption that voters must correctly write-in the senator's name for the vote to count. 

Polls show the race between Murkowski, Miller and Democrat Scott McAdams close, but the difficultly of polling a write-in campaign makes it tough to get a real gauge of Murkowski's support.

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