– The Associated Press

JUNEAU, Alaska – Sen. Lisa Murkowski maintained a healthy 90 percent of the write-in vote in the Alaska Senate race Friday, even as election officials threw out a number of oddball entries like “Donald Duck,” “Elmo” and “Revolt.”

Murkowski said she feels “pretty good about the direction” the vote count is headed and expressed confidence that she’ll pull off an improbable write-in victory over Republican nominee Joe Miller.

So far, the state has recorded 92,979 write-in votes and 82,180 votes for Miller. Murkowski has been getting about 90 percent of write-in votes. Another 7.8 percent have been apparent votes for Murkowski that have been challenged, generally by observers for Miller for things such as minor misspellings or penmanship issues.

The hand count is scheduled to go through the weekend and run well into next week to determine if Murkowski got enough write-in votes to win.

Murkowski is seeking to make history and become the first U.S. Senate candidate since 1954 to win a write-in campaign. She mounted her outsider bid after losing the GOP primary to Miller in August.

On Friday, on the third day of the write-in ballot hand count, Murkowski said she’s offended by some of the challenges that observers for Miller are making to ballots for her.

While Miller’s campaign maintains it’s only challenging ballots that don’t meet the strict letter of the law, including those with misspellings, Murkowski believes it was the intent of Alaskans in those cases to vote for her.

Miller is suing to ensure the state is held to the law, which calls for write-in ballots to have a write-in oval filled in and either the candidate’s last name or the name as it appears on their declaration of candidacy scrawled in — in this case, either “Murkowski” or “Lisa Murkowski.”

The state has been using discretion to discern voter intent, pointing to prior case law as their basis in doing so. Murkowski supports this, saying she wants the voices of all Alaskan voters heard.