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The Alaska Senate Republican Primary Race Heats Up

Posted by loricalabrese on September 1, 2010

Sarah Palin-backed Joe Miller came out of nowhere and challenged incumbent Senator Lisa Murkowski in the Alaska Senate Republican primary. But as votes are still being counted with Miller in the lead, the primary is getting downright ugly.

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski said Monday her Republican rival Joe Miller may be creating doubt in the minds of Alaskans about the integrity of the voting process by ratcheting up the hyperbole about possible election fraud. She also stated that Miller also may be positioning himself to challenge the results if they break her way.

“It just seems that in the week since the election, it has just continued to be yet one more hype, one more mischaracterization, one more just trumped up rhetoric, that leaves people to think there’s some kind of subterfuge or some kind of shenanigans going on,” she said.

An attorney for the Miller campaign, Thomas Van Flein, who’s also Sarah Palin’s attorney, formally asked Lt. Gov. Craig Campbell for an investigation into possible tampering by an observer for the Murkowski campaign.

In a letter, Van Flein claimed the observer at the Mat-Su Division of Elections accessed a state computer for about 20 minutes on Friday while absentee ballots were being verified. Van Flein said the observer may have copied voter information.

He questioned whether a hand-count of the absentee ballots should be required, or at least a review of the computer. He also requested Lt. Gov. Craig Campbell post Alaska State Troopers at counting offices.

“I am really astounded that the Miller camp seems to be so paranoid of every step along the way, which is designed to ensure that every Alaska vote is counted,” Murkowski told The Associated Press.

Tuesday afternoon on FOX News, Miller responded to Murkowski’s accusations. “The only way we’d ever challenge is if there is evidence of tampering,” Miller said. “It’s unfortunate that we’re hearing that kind of rhetoric.”

Miller holds a 1,688-vote lead over incumbent Murkowski in the Republican primary and the Alaska Division of Elections is scheduled to begin counting many of the 25,510 absentee, questioned and early ballots Tuesday, with possible results coming in Tuesday night.

Read more articles by the National Sarah Palin Examiner at Examiner.com

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