Friday morning update: The official Division of Elections tally now shows about 150 people have filed as write-in candidates for Alaska's U.S. Senate race. That's not counting another roughly 25 who filed too late or didn't meet the age requirements.
The movement is largely meant to protest an Alaska Supreme Court order that allowed for a list of write-in candidates to appear at polling places. Protesters say the move amounts to electioneering for write-in candidate Sen. Lisa Murkowski.
Among the names of the new write-ins:
- Lisa M. Lackey
- Lyn Marcum
- Lee Hamerski
A "Melissa A. 'Lissa' Pike" didn't meet age requirements.
From Kyle Hopkins in Anchorage --
In a movement one pro-Sarah Palin website is calling “Operation Alaska Chaos,” at least 100 people filed paperwork Thursday to register as write-in candidates in the U.S. Senate election, according to the Division of Elections.
A stream of would-be senators filtered through the elections office in Midtown Anchorage late in the day, many saying the effort is meant to protest an order by the Alaska Supreme Court on Wednesday allowing a list of write-in candidates to be shown to voters who ask for assistance.
The court action is expected to aid Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s write-in bid and amounts to electioneering by the state, say supporters of Republican nominee Joe Miller. The idea of a mass registration is to create a long list of potential write-in choices and make it harder for voters to find Murkowski’s name.
“(Murkowski) should have ran harder before the primary. And she didn’t. And she lost,” said Veronica Keanaaina of Eagle River, who signed up as a candidate in protest.
Hers was one of 56 Senate write-in applications the Anchorage elections office received in person or by fax in just 45 minutes late Thursday afternoon, said election clerk Raymond McAndrews.
The Division of Elections was still processing requests from around the state Thursday night. "I don't have have exact numbers," director Gail Fenumiai said in an e-mail. "It's safe to say it is over 100."
KFQD 750 AM radio host Dan Fagan, a Miller backer, urged voters to sign up in an act of “civil disobedience” — defying what he calls an illegal effort by the state.
“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,” Fagan told listeners Thursday afternoon.
Blogger Dan Riehl called Alaskans to register in a post Thursday on the website biggovernment.com. "This is your chance to let the ruling class know you are watching and are fed up with the silly games," he wrote.
Conservatives4Palin.com joined the effort with the headline “Attention Alaska Readers: Assist Joe Miller Through 'Operation Alaska Chaos.’”
The deadline for filing a letter of intent to run as a write-in was the close of business Thursday.
“I’m signing up to become a senator,” a man in a hoodie said into his cell phone at the Midtown office. An Anchorage woman who said she is not a Milller supporter but believes the Supreme Court order is illegal wheeled in her oxygen tank, asking about signing up for both state and federal office.
A list of candidates on the Division of Elections website included more than 40 write-in names late Thursday, but employees at the Anchorage office said other names were still being processed.
Among the write-in candidates listed on the division website Thursday was a “Tom M.,” but no “Lisas.”
Richard Koller of Anchorage imagined Murkowski’s name awash in “a sea of other names” at Alaska polling places as a result of the mass registration.
He signed up partly in protest, partly to be part of history, he said. “I’ve lived here since 1982, and there’s never been any write-in candidate lists. The governor and lieutenant governor have elected to essentially electioneer for write-in candidates.”