What You Need to Know: Election Night in Alaska

ANCHORAGE, AK — As voters head to the polls across Alaska for the final day of voting in the 2020 cycle, there are currently more than 120,000 absentee ballots already cast that the state will not begin counting for at least a week.

An election-eve article from the Anchorage Daily News reports that “Through 8 a.m. Monday, 152,585 Alaskans had voted. That’s 47.5% of the turnout four years ago. Most of those ballots will not be counted until at least a week after Election Day because of security checks performed by elections workers.”

In late October, Alaska Public Media ran a story with the headline: “A torrent of Democratic absentee ballots could reverse Alaska’s Election Night vote counts” and reported that “publicly available data from the state show that registered Democrats make up a disproportionate chunk of both absentee voters and early voters this year.”

The combination of higher-than-usual absentee voting—due to COVID-19—and the delay in absentee-vote counting means that anywhere in the ballpark of one-third of total votes cast in this election will not be counted for at least another week. As such, it is highly unlikely that a clearly identifiable winner in Alaska’s U.S. Senate contest will emerge on Election Night.For any further questions regarding Alaska’s voting process, the projected outcome of the state’s Senate race, or the state’s process in counting absentee ballots, please consult the Alaska Division of Elections website at www.elections.alaska.gov.

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