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While Alaska’s primary was held on Tuesday, August 16, none of the results will be certified until September 2 as Alaskans not only have approved mail-in voting, but changed their primary election rules of voting by political party primaries to becoming the second state after Maine to adopt rank-choice voting.
What does the mean? Preliminary results as of Tuesday night with more steps to come.
In short, more delays for final results, and that party primaries are dead in Alaska. Everyone votes for whomever on the same ballot and has the opportunity to pick a second choice, and if the leading candidates do not reach 50% plus one vote, there are subsequent steps to determine who will be pitted against whom in the general election.
And, to make it even more confusing, there was a special election on Tuesday for the same U.S. House seat in Alaska held by Congressman Bob Young, who passed away in March 2022 after holding the state-wide congressional seat for 49 years becoming the longest-serving republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives.
As of this week, here is what we know so far with preliminary results.
U.S. Special Election for Bob Young’s seat, where Donald Trump endorsed Sarah Palin:
Mary Peltola (D) 38%
Sarah Palin (R) 32%
Nick Begich. (R) 29%
For the same seat, but in the open congressional primary, the preliminary results are:
Mary Peltola (D) 35%
Sarah Palin (R) 31%
Nick Begich (R) 27%
Tara Sweeney (R) 4%
For U.S. Senate race, where Murkowski voted to impeach Trump
Senator Lisa Murkowski (R) 44%
Kelly Tshibaka (R) 40%
Patricia Chesbro (D) 6%
Buzz Kelley (R) 2%
The schedule for the additional steps:
August 23 - Counting for absentee, early voting and questioned ballots.
August 26 - Absentee ballots must be received if mailed in-state.
August 31 - Absentee ballots must be received if mailed from outside of the U.S.
If none of the candidates in the races, get 50% plus on vote, on August 31, the rank choice tabulation begins.
Sept 2 is when the state board must certify the election and move onto the general election in November.
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Sounds very convoluted like some a politician would dream up.