Tea Party-backed Joe Miller is asking a federal judge to prevent state elections officials in Alaska from certifying Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa MurkowskiSenators seek state revenue sharing for offshore drilling Senate panel approves 0M for international climate fund GOP senator praises Supreme Court's abortion ruling MORE (R-Alaska) the winner of the state's Senate contest.
Murkowski was declared the winner Wednesday by the AP, and she claimed victory in Anchorage at an event with supporters last night. But Miller refused to concede Wednesday and now wants a recount.
In asking a judge to stop the certification of the election results Thursday, Miller's attorney argued the process governing the counting of write-in ballots in the race was improper.
The campaign wants ballots that incorrectly spell Murkowski's name to be thrown out and has argued that the lack of a single standard for write-in ballots is unconstitutional.
"Without clear, specific criteria cabining the Director's discretion, she effectively is permitted to act as a 'supervoter,' likely determining the outcome of the election," Miller's attorney wrote in a motion submitted Thursday.
Still, Miller's legal challenge isn't enough to change the outcome of the race. Murkowski leads by more than 10,000 votes and even if all of the ballots challenged by Miller's legal team were thrown out, Murkowski would still come out ahead.
In an interview Wednesday night on MSNBC, Murkowski suggested a recount would be counterproductive.
"All I can tell you is that over 100,000 Alaskan voters have correctly filled in the oval and written in Lisa Murkowski," she said. "That's a pretty affirmative act of the electorate here in this state."
Murkowski said in the wake of defeat, Miller is "trying to blame this, that or the other thing, but the fact of the matter is, even if we were to throw out every one of the ballots he has challenged, he still loses by the count."
The senator recalled Miller's recent pledge that he would not forge ahead with any further legal challenges if the math doesn't appear to be in his favor.
"He had said several days ago that if the numbers don't line up, he would not drag this out," she said. "So he's going to have to make that call."
Alaska's Republican Party has also called on Miller to concede defeat. In a statement Wednesday, state Party Chairman Randy Ruedrich said, "At this point we are comfortable calling this race. Lisa has won. We congratulate Lisa on her victory."