JUNEAU, Alaska — Ballot counting preparations got underway shortly before 9 a.m. Wednesday morning.
Security guards hoisted dozens of ballots off a truck and wheeled them into a large room inside a building on Mill Street in Juneau, packed with ballot counters, observers from both the Murkowski and Miller campaigns and members of the national media.
Ballot counting is scheduled to continue Wednesday, even after a lawsuit from the Miller campaign that challenges the Division of Elections' use of "voter intent" to determine write-in votes, saying an exact spelling of "Lisa Murkowski" or "Murkowski" is needed in order to count.
At 9:11 a.m., ballot counting began, with workers sorting ballots into one of five box lids. Certainly much of the attention in the ballot count will come with box lid No. 4, where election workers are required to put ballots that have misspelled Murkowski's name.
Any ballots challenged by either of two observers from the Murkowski and Miller campaigns also go in this box, which is later forwarded to the Division of Elections director, Gail Fenumiai.
The write-in count is expected to last anywhere from three to five days.