State could certify US Senate race within hours

Posted: Sunday, December 19, 2010

JUNEAU - State election officials could certify the disputed Alaska Senate race within hours of a judge lifting his stay.

U.S. District Judge Ralph Beistline last month blocked the state from certifying the race until legal issues raised by Republican Joe Miller were resolved. Beistline later said Alaska should have a senator in place when Congress convenes in early January, even if the legal wrangling between Miller and Sen. Lisa Murkowski isn't resolved then.

He is willing to hear any outstanding claims from Miller after the state Supreme Court rules in a separate case.

Miller has sued over the state's handling of the election. Murkowski has declared victory.

State Division of Elections Director Gail Fenumiai says once Beistline lifts his stay, the race could be certified within hours.

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