See the live results here
Update, 8:30 p.m.
From Bill White in Anchorage --
The state just posted the final vote tally of the evening, and Joe Miller's total is 11,333 votes behind the write-in total with most of the absentee votes counted from last week's election.
The new write-in total is 92,528 in the U.S. Senate race. Miller's new total is 81,195.
Miller started the day 13,439 behind.
Over 12,000 absentee ballots still remain to be counted, mostly from rural Alaska. Incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who waged a write-in campaign after losing the Republican primary to Miller in August, ran strong in rural Alaska.
State elections officials say still plan to start checking what names are written on the write-in ballots at 9 a.m. Wednesday, despite Miller's lawsuit in federal court Tuesday saying only the name "Murkowski" or "Lisa Murkowski" -- with no variations on that spelling -- should count for his opponent.
Update, 5:55 p.m.
From Kyle Hopkins in Anchorage --
Republican Senate candidate Joe Miller and his rival, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, both say they expected Miller to make gains today during the absentee vote count.
The day began with Murkowski as many as 13,439 votes ahead. As of tonight, Miller has pulled within at least 11,557 votes -- a gain of 1,882 ballots.
"This is pretty much what we projected. We remain confident that Sen. Murkowski will be heading into the write-in process with sufficient margins and will hold enough of a lead to have victory by the end of the week," said Murkowski campaign manager Kevin Sweeney.
Sweeney said the Murkowski camp knew Miller would fare better among absentee voters, who were tougher to reach through their write-in campaign.
Miller spokesman Randy DeSoto sent this written statement moments ago:
"We are pleased with the gains made during the absentee ballot counting today. We anticipated, as during the primary election, that we would have a strong showing with the absentee voters. The Miller campaign remains cautiously optimistic as we look towards the completion of absentee vote counting and the beginning of the write-in count tomorrow."
Meantime, Miller has filed a suit asking a federal judge to stop the state from considering voter intent as it counts write-in ballots tomorrow, The Associated Press reports.
Read court documents here:
-- Miller complaint.
From Sean Cockerham at the Alaska Division of Elections office in Anchorage:
Update, 5:17 p.m.:
The Division of Elections has posted a new update in the ballot count.
It lists over 22,000 absentee and early votes counted today.
The current total has write-ins leading Joe Miller by 11,557 votes.
That means Miller has picked up 1,882 votes in today's count.
The Division of Elections now says it's counting 28,927 ballots today and the full results will be available later tonight.
That's the vast majority of absentee ballots the state has received, so there won't be many of them left to count next week.
As of this afternoon, Miller had pulled within 11,557 votes of the write-in total. The Division of Elections did not count absentee votes in several rural districts -- which have been Murkowski territory this year -- as well as one Valley district that ranges from Eielson Air Force Base to Valdez.
Update, 4:07 p.m.:
There's a new batch of statewide numbers. The state now reports having counted over 14,000 absentee and early ballots today.
Miller has gained a little bit of ground since the last absentee count. He now has 12,218 fewer votes than the write-in ballots.
That means he's picked up 1,221 votes so far in today's count.
There should be around 8,000 more absentees left to count today if the Division of Elections sticks to its original plan of counting about 22,000 of the absentee/early votes by the end of the day.
There were a total of more than 30,000 of such ballots received by the state. More absentee counts will be held next week.
Update, 3:06 p.m.:
Looks like that big dump of reported absentees included Mat-Su districts, where Miller is particularly strong. But it didn't include the Kenai Peninsula or Fairbanks, where he could also pick up votes.
No reports in from Southeast Alaska either.
There are no new numbers to report at the moment with the write-in lead over Miller currently standing at 12,525 votes.
Update, 2:26 p.m.:
The Division of Elections has put out a big statewide update, which includes the districts reported already as well as new ones (will take a little time to figure out just which ones.)
The bottom line in the update is that the state is now reporting that it's counted over 8,000 absentee and early votes today.
The write-ins lead Joe Miller by 12,525 votes. That represents a 914 vote gain for Miller in today's count of absentee and early votes. The write-in lead was 13,439 the start of the day.
Update, 2:04 p.m.:
There are a lot more write-in votes than votes for Joe Miller in the lastest batch of numbers from the Division of Elections, which are coming in from downtown and north Anchorage.
House District 20 (just south of the military base) is an exception. That district had 128 Miller votes and 107 write-ins.
House District 22 (UAA) had 182 write-ins and 152 Miller votes.
House District 23 ended up with 274 write-in votes and 159 votes for Miller. That's a Democratic-leaning downtown district. That's a Democratic-leaning downtown district. Democrat Scott McAdams had 248 absentees there.
House District 25 (Spenard area) had 171 write-ins and 110 for Miller.
The upshot is that there were 186 more write-in votes in those districts than votes for Miller. That puts the number of absentee votes that Miller gained today at 133.
Miller entered Tuesday 13,439 votes behind the write-in total. As of the latest count of absentee votes today, he's 13,307 behind.
But we still haven't seen the absentee voting numbers from Miller strongholds in the Mat-Su Valley and the Interior.
Update, 1:10 p.m.:
It's been slow going but we finally have some new numbers.
House District 24 (Midtown Anchorage) was a tie in absentees. Joe Miller received 223 absentee votes and there were the same number of write-ins. That's a much better showing for Miller than he had in Midtown Anchorage on Election Day.
They've also counted the remaining 276 early votes that were cast in Southcentral Alaska (including the Mat-Su) and there were 48 more write-in votes than there were votes for Miller.
So that means Miller has gained 318 votes so far in today's count, but we haven't seen any results yet from Fairbanks or Southeast Alaska or any of the absentee results from the Mat-Su.
There are also more districts in Anchorage that are supposed to be counted today. We're supposed to get a lot of new numbers at 2 p.m., we'll see if that turns out to be the case.
Update, 11:18 a.m.:
We've got our first numbers, showing Joe Miller making small gains on Lisa Murkowski. But they are from only three Anchorage districts, including ones where the military vote is heavy.
The absentee count just released in House District 18 (which runs down from Eagle River and includes Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson) saw Miller with 454 votes to 113 write-ins.
The count from House District 19 (East Anchorage/Muldoon area) has Miller with 274 votes and 253 votes for the write-ins.
That district is near the military base but it's also represented by a Democrat in the Legislature, Pete Petersen. Democrat Scott McAdams picked up 198 absentees there.
Today's count of House District 21 (the Baxter area of East Anchorage) saw Miller pick up 284 absentee votes to 280 for the write-ins.
Bottom line is that, in those three House districts, Miller picked up 366 votes over the write-ins.
Original post, 9:56 a.m.:
Counting of absentee ballots has begun in the Alaska’s Senate race, with first results expected to be available by noon.
I'll be updating when results come in.
It looks like the Division of Elections plans to count more than 22,200 absentee and early ballots today. The division has received over 30,000 absentees and the count will continue next week. Some absentees are still coming in (they had to be postmarked by Election Day) and the division can't count all the ones they have already until they've been verified to make sure they came from eligible voters.
Ballots from residents of Anchorage and the Mat-Su area will be counted this morning, as will a few ballots from Western Alaska.
Southeast Alaska and Interior ballots will be counted this afternoon.
Republican nominee Joe Miller is really hoping to gain ground in this count of absentees. Alaskans cast 13,439 more write-in ballots on last week’s Election Day than voted for Miller.
The vast majority of the 83,201 write-ins are expected to be for incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski. The Division of Elections tomorrow in Juneau will start the process of opening write-in ballots to see how many of them actually have Murkowski’s name.
|MTN for Preliminary Injunction.pdf||1.83 MB|