At least 160 candidates running as write-ins in Alaska with GOP surge

In an apparent effort to damage the write-in campaign of Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), more than 70 Alaska Republicans have filed to run as write-in candidates in Tuesday's election. 

Conservative activists encouraged backers of Republican nominee Joe Miller to file as write-ins over the past two days and dozens have heeded the call. 

Along with the slew of new GOP write-in candidate, dozens of others filed to run as Democrats or independents, bringing the total number of write-in candidates for Tuesday's Senate race to 160.

After losing the GOP primary to Tea Party-backed Joe Miller earlier this year, Murkowski decided to wage a write-in bid, setting up a three-way race with Miller and Democrat Scott McAdams. 

Alaska radio host Dan Fagan was one of the voices encouraging Miller backers to run as write-ins.  

"Rush on over there before 5 o’clock and register as a write-in candidate. Especially if your last name is Murkowski. That would really help the cause," the host urged his listeners Thursday, according to the Anchorage Daily News

BigGovernment's Dan Riehl also encouraged Alaskans to file as write-ins in order to to "highlight the chaos brought about by Lisa Murkowski’s seemingly unending quest for power." He even provided links to the necessary paperwork.  

The possibility that Miller backers or Tea Party supporters would launch some sort of effort in an attempt to torpedo her write-in bid was already a concern for Murkowski supporters. 

The thought was that backers of Miller or supporters of McAdams would encourage someone with a name similar to Murkowski's to wage a write-in bid in an effort to confuse voters and throw into question ballots that aren't clearly marked with Murkowski's name.

One of the Republicans filed to run as a write-in is Lisa M. Lackey. 

Murkowski's campaign has engaged in a robust voter-education effort on the ins and outs of the state's write-in process and is handing out wristbands with the proper spelling of the candidate's name.