Michael Dineen/AP Photo
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R) and challengers Scott McAdams (D) and Joe Miller (R) at an Oct. 7, 2010 debate.
Updated at 6:14 pm ET — NPR's Martin Kaste reports that the Alaska Supreme Court's ruling Wednesday allowing voters at polling stations to look at lists of write-in candidate's names wasn't final and that the court could still reverse itself.
As Martin reported for the network's newscast:
... (The court) plans to review the situation before Election Day and, in the meantime, it's ordered that early ballots cast using the list be segregated — in case they're eventually found to be invalid.
— original post below —
Alaska's Supreme Court ruled that voters in the state should indeed have polling-place access to lists of the names of write-in candidates, slapping down a lower court ruling and handing a victory to Sen. Lisa Murkowski.
Murkowski is waging a write-in campaign for re-election to the U.S. Senate after being beaten in the Republican primary by Joe Miller, a Tea Party-backed candidate.
The lower court's decision this week was viewed as a significant setback for Murkowski.
But the Supreme Court has thrown her an important lifeline after state election officials appealed the lower court's decision. Murkowski isn't the easiest name for many people to spell so having the lists could prove decisive.
The campaigns of Miller and Scot McAdams, the Democratic nominee and the former mayor of Sitka, had sued to prevent election officials from providing voters with lists containing the names of write-in candidates.
The lower court had blocked such lists from being handed out, saying that would violate the past practices of election officials.
While the Alaska Supreme Court said the lists could be provided, it said they should not contain the party affiliation of the write-in candidates.