Joe Miller: 'There certainly is an effort to skew the results still going on'
By Aaron Blake
Alaska attorney Joe Miller (R) said Monday that ballot shenanigans continue to mar the vote-counting process in the wake of his Aug. 24 GOP primary challenge to Sen. Lisa Murkowski .
"There certainly is an effort to skew the results still going on," Miller said on the ABC/ Washington Post's "Top Line" Web show. He offered no specifics.
Miller said he spoke with National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn on Saturday, and the Texas Senator confirmed that he had pulled out NRSC general counsel Sean Cairncross, who had been helping Murkowski at her request since last Tuesday's primary.
Miller currently leads Murkowski by 1,668 votes, with the counting of about 20,000 absentee and questioned ballots set to begin Tuesday.
Miller said he has confidence in the state Division of Elections, but added that "there are several things that have happened in recent days that have caused us concern."
Last week Miller suggested that Murkowski's campaign was trying to "pull an Al Franken" -- an allusion to the drawn-out recount and legal process that led to Franken's (D) defeat of Minnesota's Sen. Norm Coleman (R) last year for the U.S. Senate.
Miller said that his campaign had focused on absentee ballots and that he should perform well when those ballots are counted. He also noted that many of the uncounted ballots were from active-duty military -- where had concentrated campaign efforts.
Should Miller emerge the victor after all the ballots are counted, at least one avenue for Murkowski in the general election has been closed off. The Alaska Libertarian Party decided Sunday that it wouldn't give her its ballot line under any circumstance.
Murkowski apparently can't run as the Alaskan Independence Party candidate, because the party didn't field a candidate in the primary. A remaining option would be running as a write-in candidate -- a challenge even for an incumbent.
With Miller the odds-on favorite to emerge after all the votes are counted, attention has turned to his policy positions, which Democrats contend are extreme.
Miller has said that unemployment benefits are unconstitutional and has suggested privatizing Social Security and phasing out Medicare.
Pressed on the Social Security issue, Miller said he would like to take a look at several proposals, including President Bush's failed privatization effort.
"We're looking at all options. We're looking at the option proposed by President Bush; we're looking at Rep. [Paul] Ryan's plan," Miller said. "We have to look at transferring power back to the states."