The first round of counting is done, and Murkowski might have pulled it off.
With 432 of 438 precincts reporting, 41 percent of the voters had filled in the write-in oval on their ballot. Most of those likely wrote in incumbent Sen. Murkowski, who spent over $1 million telling voters to "fill it in, write in" after she lost to Miller in the Aug. 24 Republican primary.
But it won't be clear for weeks at least how many of the voters wrote in Murkowski's name, and how many did it properly enough to be counted.....
The Division of Elections has sent out more than 31,200 absentee ballots. The first batch of those, as well as questioned ballots, will be counted Nov. 9. Some absentee ballots mailed back from overseas won't be counted until Nov. 17.
Alaska's computerized voting system shows how many voters filled in the oval for a write-in candidate but not the actual name the voter wrote in. The write-in ballots are only opened to look at the name if there are more of them than votes for the leading candidate, or if the number of write-in ballots is within .5 percent of the frontrunner.
That count would begin Nov. 18 and be expected to last three days.
Miller pulled 34 percent, McAdams 24, which means a lot of Dem voters decided to stick with the devil they know. Thus far, we've seen and elections division that's pretty damned friendly to Murkowski, but they are going to be facing an onslaught of lawyers from Miller to contest every ballot. Miller refused to talk to reporters last night, which was probably smart after he jumped the gun with another "measuring for drapes" statement last night right after the Rand Paul win and well before polls even closed in Alaska.
What Dems can take heart from in this race is that they've got a phenomenal future candidate in Scott McAdams. He built a solid, professional, high-profile campaign from scratch, and in just over two months. Hopefully, he'll be back.