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Coleman to Miller: Give Up on Recount

A veteran of his own extended vote-counting process, former Sen. Norm Coleman believes the Alaska Senate race is over and GOP nominee Joe Miller should end his lawsuit challenging the results.

“I understand Joe’s frustration. … I had some of those concerns in Minnesota on a much, much, much closer race,” the Minnesota Republican said on C-SPAN’s “Newsmakers” program, set to air Sunday. “I think that race is over. I think the counting’s been done. I’m not sure there’s anything that would change that.”

At the end of vote counting last week, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R) finished with a lead of more than 10,000 votes. Miller has filed suit in state court requesting that the state be prohibited from certifying the election results. Miller claims the state did not follow its own laws when using the standard of voter intent in its count of write-in ballots.

“Without criticizing Joe Miller, I would offer him advice,” Coleman said. “I think it should be time to move on. There’s not much that you can gain by extending the process.”

Coleman lost re-election in 2008 to now-Sen. Al Franken after nearly eight months of recounting votes and federal court rulings. Coleman conceded on June 30, 2009, rather than appeal to the Supreme Court to overturn the Minnesota Supreme Court’s decision in favor of the Minnesota Democrat.

The Miller campaign has directed its ire squarely at Lt. Gov. Craig Campbell, who oversees the Alaska Division of Elections, accusing Campbell of doing favors for Murkowski.

“Had Campbell done his job in a neutral, competent, and lawful fashion, the Miller Campaign would not have needed to seek court assistance,” an early Wednesday morning Miller campaign news release stated. “Is it too much to ask that the Lieutenant Governor be unbiased and simply follow state law?”

Campbell responded Tuesday to the lawsuit Miller filed in state court this week, stating that some of the allegations Miller made could “make members of the public lose trust in a lawful, reliable and consistent process.”

“While Mr. Miller claims that the state has gone outside its jurisdiction by using voter intent in counting ballots, we continue to point to various examples of case law throughout Alaska history, that show where the state courts have erred on the side of enfranchising voters when their intent is clear,” Campbell said in a statement. “That Mr. Miller continues to try and disenfranchise voters is disappointing.”

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