An Alaska state court judge is expected to make a ruling on the Senate race by Friday, but with an appeal to the state Supreme Court likely, National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn said he hopes the court process concludes soon. As we've reported, the ongoing battle has put Republicans on Capitol Hill in a tough spot. The Texan addressed that concern Wednesday in an interview with Roll Call.
“We just have to be patient and wait for the judge to decide,” said Cornyn, a former judge. “I understand that could be as early as [Thursday], and I hope it doesn’t go on much longer because I think the people of Alaska deserve to have a Senator when we reconvene again in January, and not still have that up in the air.”
The NRSC donated money to Joe Miller following his upset Republican primary victory over Sen. Lisa Murkowski. But Murkowski’s improbable write-in bid led her to lead by more than 10,000 votes when ballot-counting concluded last month.
That put the NRSC and Senate Republicans in an awkward position as Miller has continued with a lawsuit against Alaska, alleging elections officials did not follow state law when counting write-in ballots.
Miller’s accusations against the state deepened during the trial on Wednesday, when his Washington, D.C.-based attorney Michael Morley argued that thousands voted without showing proper identification, that write-in ballots from some precincts appeared to be filled out in similar handwriting and that convicted felons were improperly allowed to vote.
While the NRSC has provided staff and legal advice to Miller in the past, there has not been much discussion between the two during the latest legal proceedings.
“More recently he has not asked for help and we have not provided any more help,” Cornyn said. “We’re just waiting to let the judge decide.”
David M. Drucker contributed to this report.
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