Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Murkowski Appears to Lead but Braces for Long Wait -

Murkowski Appears to Lead but Braces for Long Wait -

By early Wednesday, Alaska's incumbent senator, Lisa Murkowski, appeared to have a growing lead over her tea-party rival -- but she wasn't celebrating yet. Ms. Murkowski and Joe Miller, both Republicans, are instead preparing for a wait to find out who won the race, as more than 20,000 absentee ballots trickle in over the next two weeks and are added to the nearly 202,000 early and Election Day ballots that have already been counted.

Election officials had planned to start counting names on ballots on Nov. 18 but moved the date to Nov. 10 when they saw the write-in numbers, said Lt. Gov. Craig Campbell in an interview. The process is expected to take three days, he said. Both camps said they plan to observe that process to make sure ballots are counted correctly, and either camp could challenge the name-counting decisions in state court. The election likely won't be certified until around Nov. 29.

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