ANCHORAGE, Alaska—With less than 24 hours to go until the write-in count begins, a challenge has come from the campaign of Joe Miller.
Miller's attorney, Thomas Van Flein, has filed a complaint in federal court asking a judge to keep the state from using discretion in counting write-in ballots, but the Lt. Governor says the state has no plans to delay tomorrows vote count.
Late Tuesday night in his downtown Anchorage law office, Van Flein said state law is on the side of Miller.
“It very clearly and explicitly, in a remarkably clear statute, it said the write-in vote in order to be valid has to match the name on the candidates declaration form,” said Van Flein.
Van Flein filed the complaint hoping a judge will force the state to toss out write-in votes where Sen. Lisa Murkowski's last name is spelled incorrectly.
He says guidelines released yesterday by the state are too subjective.
“If there was an objective standard that was applied uniformly it would be something to the affect if there is one letter wrong, we will count it; two letters wrong, we will count it; but if three or more, we won't,” said Van Flein.
The state has said its using previous case law and will side with voter intent if a ballot is challenged.
In a statement late Tuesday, Lt. Gov. Craig Campbelll said, "We've received the lawsuit, and have referred it to the attorney general's office for review. At this time, we intend to go forward with tomorrow's write-in ballot count."
As for the Murkowski campaign, Kevin Sweeney told KTUU, "It appears the Miller campaign will do anything it can to exclude Alaskan votes from being counted."
But Van Flein says the last minute changes and guidelines are unsettling and he's hoping a federal judge will agree with him.
Van Flein is hoping to hear from the judge sometime Wednesday morning and hopes the vote count won't begin until a judge can rule on the matter.