Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

United States

In Alaska, 48 House candidates and a first-of-its-kind special election

Voters in Alaska are taking part in a new type of election this weekend: one conducted entirely by mail, the first of its kind in the state’s history. And it will be an open primary, allowing people to pick from candidates of both parties — also new in the state.

The list voters will choose from is long: A whopping 48 candidates are running for the state’s lone House seat. One of them is former Gov. Sarah Palin. A man legally named Santa Claus is also on the ballot.

The special primary election is to replace Representative Don Young, who was the longest-serving Republican in the House when he died in March.

Alaska voters will have until 7:59 p.m. local time on Saturday to cast their votes by mail. Elections officials will begin counting the ballots after the deadline passes and expect to release preliminary vote counts in the hours that follow — but unofficial final results may not be known until June 21.

All of the state’s more than 595,000 eligible voters were mailed a ballot for the contest. Nearly 20 percent of them had already sent in their ballots as of June 8, according to statistics published by the Alaska Division of Elections (and about 87,000 were returned as undeliverable). In primary elections in 2018, voter turnout was just shy of 20 percent by the time all votes had been counted.

Credit…Mark Thiessen/Associated Press

With the new, nonpartisan primary system, which voters approved as part of 2020 ballot initiative, the four candidates from any party who get the most votes will proceed to the general election on Aug. 16, when voters will rank them in order of preference. This is called ranked-choice voting, which New York City used for the first time last year (reviews were mixed).

The winner determined on Aug. 16 will fill the seat for the rest of the current term, through January.

But Aug. 16 is also the date of Alaska’s regular primary contests, including for the 2023 to 2025 term for the House seat, so voters will see some candidates’ names twice on the same ballot: once to decide the outcome of the special general election and once to pick candidates to proceed to the general election this fall for the full two-year term.

Only 26 of the candidates running in the special election are also competing in the regular election. Several others have also filed.

To help voters navigate the new features of this year’s elections, Alaska’s elections office has started a statewide voter education program that has included “pretty much anything you could do,” according to Tiffany Montemayor, a public relations manager for the Division of Elections.

“Radio ads, bus ads, every kind of medium you can talk to someone, we’re going to be using that for voter education,” Ms. Montemayor said.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You May Also Like

United States

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. — Just six weeks before the 2020 presidential election — game day for vote-counting bureaucrats — Tina Peters was so proud...


New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, a Democrat, said Sunday that the Empire State will be a “safe harbor” for those seeking an abortion after...


The landmark Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade is already impacting one of the more unique midterm races in the country, where Utah...

United States

On the first weekend after the Supreme Court overturned nearly five decades of constitutional abortion rights, Democrats seized on the ruling to portray their...


Austin City Council members are seeking to pass legislation that would decriminalize abortion citywide after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, a decision...


South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, a Republican, on Sunday praised the recent Supreme Court ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade as a decision that...


Press play to listen to this article WASHINGTON — The imprisonment of a prominent Vietnamese environmental activist has forced U.S. and EU climate negotiators...


President Joe Biden does not support Democrats pushing to expand the Supreme Court, the White House announced on Saturday. White House Press Secretary Karine...