When federal Judge Ralph Beistline tossed Joe Miller's challenge to Alaska's U.S. Senate election, he granted that Alaska's law could be clearer about the primacy of voter intent.
He was right.
The requirement that a write-in candidate's name be written as it appears in its state-qualified form led to the arguments over spelling and how close voters had to be.
In addition, the state's decision to provide, at voters' request, lists of qualified write-in candidates prompted unsuccessful suits by both the Republican and Democratic parties.
While we disagreed with the Division of Elections on the latter point, state courts upheld their call. And the division ran a straight, fair election.
Lawmakers, however, should revisit the law to make clear that voter intent, not spelling, is the key test in deciding which write-in votes count, and to decide whether write-in lists either will or won't be provided at polling places in the future.
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