(NewsGlobal.com)- Although it is too soon to declare a winner in Alaska’s special election for the state’s lone U.S. House member, former Governor Sarah Palin is trailing Democrat challenger Mary Peltola.
According to reports of last Wednesday night, 70% of the votes had been tallied, and Peltola was ahead of Palin, 38% to 32%.
Due to how the state counts some absentee ballots and its new ranked-choice voting system, the contest winner for Alaska’s at-large House seat won’t likely be known until closer to the end of the month.
According to reports, if Peltola were to win, it would be a victory for Democrats for the rest of the current term as they attempt to maintain their majority in November. However, Peltola positioned herself as a bridge-builder.
After an unsuccessful run for vice president in 2008, Palin rose to prominence in the conservative media and, with the backing of former president Donald Trump, entered the race to make a comeback more than a decade after she left office in 2009. Due to her early resignation as governor, which some perceived as an attempt to capitalize on her national fame, Palin’s popularity in the state was poor.
Republican businessman Nick Begich III, who comes from a well-known Alaskan Democratic family, was also running for office. Al Gross, an Independent candidate who also won the primary, announced his withdrawal shortly after.
According to reports, the Division of Elections in Alaska is required by state law to count each ballot before beginning to tabulate ranking votes. On being postmarked by election day, the law authorizes ballots mailed in from foreign voters to be accepted until August 31st.
The elections division will count voters’ ranked choices by eliminating the last-place candidate. It does not appear the top vote-getter in the race will win more than 50% of the vote once all initial ballots have been counted.
Next, they will redistribute their voters’ subsequent choices to the next tally. The election will proceed through as many rounds as necessary until one candidate receives the most votes.
Local media reports that the division anticipates certifying the results of the special House election on September 2.
The Republican representative from Alaska, Don Young, passed away in March, which led to the special election. The victor will serve the rest of Young’s term before running again in January for another term.
Rank-choice voting and open primaries sound like a horrific mess.