Rejected senator on brink of remarkable victory thanks to wristbands idea
The Republican senator for Alaska, who was rejected by her own party, could pull off a remarkable victory after giving voters wristbands so they could write her name on their ballot papers.
Despite being a sitting senator, Lisa Murkowski was defeated for the Republican nomination by Joe Miller, who was backed by the Tea Party and Sarah Palin, the state's former governor.
As a result her name did not appear on ballot papers in the state, but she organised a "write-in" campaign in which voters filled in her name themselves.
There has not been a successful write-in campaign for the Senate since 1954.
Amid concerns that misspellings of "Murkowski" could lead to legal challenges from her opponent she also issued wristbands giving the correct spelling. "These bands made history for us," Miss Murkowski said.
With 99pc of polling stations having reported, write-in votes made up 4pc of the total.
Mr Miller had 34pc and Democrat Scott McAdams had 24pc.
Verifying the names written in had been due to begin on November 18, but after the volume of such votes became clear officials decided to start on Wednesday. It will take three days and there are also 30,000 absentee ballots to count.
Mr Miller's aides said they remained confident and pointed out that up to 6pc of ballots had been rejected in previous write-in campaigns.
Both sides have established legal teams ahead of the count. (© Daily Telegraph, London)