Counting the write-in ballots in Alaska

The counting of write-in ballots in the Alaska Senate race continues …

Buried within a story this morning from the LA Times, “Counting of write-in ballots underway in Alaska Senate election” was some interesting data:

Still, early numbers showed that 89% of the write-in ballots counted by midday Wednesday were correctly filled in for Murkowski.

Of 7,638 write-ins counted, only 56 were for someone else, and 6,804 were unchallenged. Only 89 challenges were tentatively upheld by the state Division of Elections.

While it is impossible to figure out the exact explanation at this time, it does seem that an overwhelming percentage of Alaskan voters who cast a write-in ballot for the Senate race managed to get Murkowski’s name spelled correctly and to fill out their ballot correctly. Perhaps the extensive media coverage of the write-in procedure helped, perhaps the efforts of election officials in Alaska helped, or perhaps some of the efforts of the Murkowski campaign helped.

But it would be interesting to eventually take a closer look at the efforts made to inform Alaskan voters how to cast a correct write-in ballot, as there might be some lessons here for other efforts to inform voters about casting a correct ballot in other contexts.