Joe Biden is the winner of the Alaska Democratic Party’s first-ever balloted primary, a mail-in process that replaced traditional caucuses.
A total of 19,759 ballots were mailed back by Democrats statewide, for a 28 percent turnout after the party allowed people to cast ballots for an additional week longer than originally planned.
The party said it mailed 71,000 ballots, and they were due in the party headquarters by April 10.
Joe Biden won 55.3% of the vote, with 10,834 votes. He will be awarded nine delegates.
Bernie Sanders won 44.7%, with 8,755 votes, and will be awarded 8 delegates.
Biden, although he won by over 2,000 votes, only netted one delegate more than Sanders for the Democrats’ National Convention.
The Democrats experimented with ranked choice voting, allowing people to rank their top five candidates in the order of preference. The party has not announced who received the third, fourth, and fifth most votes.
Ranked choice voting allows people who pick losing candidates to have their ballots recounted for their next favorite pick, allowing those voters to have their ballots counted twice or more. Alaskans for Better Elections is attempting to have Alaska’s official elections adopt this plan, which was executed during the private party-run process this past month.
Candidates who suspended their campaigns but requested that their votes still be tabulated were reflected in the results, the party said, while candidates who have asked that their votes not be tabulated were not reflected in the results.
Sanders suspended his campaign April 8, but said would still seek delegates to go to the convention.
Democrats will have virtual district caucuses held on April 18 by each of Alaska’s 40 House Districts to choose delegates to go to the statewide convention.
The Alaska Democratic Party’s statewide convention, originally scheduled to be held in Fairbanks on May 15-16, will be conducted online, just as the Republicans held theirs online earlier this month due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
During the 2016 Alaska Democratic Caucuses, Bernie Sanders won 81.6% of the votes by participants, to Hillary Clinton’s 18.4%.