It might take Alaskan officials five days to count the 92,000 write-in ballots, but the first small sample bodes well for Lisa Murkowski. Of 7,638 ballots counted, the incumbent senator got 6,804 of them (89%) without a hitch—meaning voters spelled her name correctly. Another 678 are considered "challenged but counted" in her favor, meaning her name is probably off by a letter or two. The courts will have the final say on those.
Joe Miller's camp successfully challenged 89 Murkowski votes in the batch, only about 1% of the total. He trailed the write-in bloc by 11,333 votes heading into the day. That's now 11,332 because he got one write-in ballot himself—four fewer than someone named Sid Hill. The Anchorage Daily News is doing periodic updates here. (Read more Lisa Murkowski stories.)