The Division of Elections has just released its sample ballot for the Aug. 16 primary election that is combined with the Aug. 16 special general election for the temporary seat in Congress. The election ends in 48 days.
The statewide primary seats will be found at the top of the ballot — U.S. Senator, U.S. House, and Governor. Those are the “pick one” primary races.
The ballot explainer clarifies that anyone on the ballot can now claim to be a Republican, Democrat, or otherwise. Ballot Measure 2 stripped the ability of the registered Republicans, Libertarians or other parties in the state to nominate their own candidate with a separate ballot, available to their party members, nonpartisans, and undeclared votes. All candidates are now on one ballot.
The top four from the front side of the Aug. 16 ballot will proceed to the general election on Nov. 8, regardless of party affiliation. All four who are on the November ballot could be from just one party.
In some categories of the regular primary election, however, there are not four candidates running, and the ranked choice system is useless because all who are on the primary ballot will be automatically in the final four for the general election. This is true for almost all State House and Senate races.
In fact, only in state House District 35 are there 5 candidates, meaning one candidate will drop off for the November ballot.
The same is true for state Senate — no race has more than four candidates, so all will be on the November ballot for their district.
The top of the front page of the Aug. 16 ballot looks like this:
On the reverse side of the ballot voters will find the special general election, where they will rank from 1-4 their favorite candidates. This is another gift from Ballot Measure 2, brought to Alaska by Outside billionaire influencers in 2020.
Although the sample ballot shows that there will be four candidates, in fact there are only three candidates, after Al Gross dropped out of the race after the special election primary. This is another consequence of Ballot Measure 2. There will be no Libertarian candidate, nor a candidate from the Alaskan Independence Party. Only Republicans and Democrats will be on the ballot.
Voters also have the option of writing in a name and voting for that person.
On the real special general election ballot, the names are Nick Begich, Republican; Sarah Palin, Republican, and Mary Peltola, Democrat. The Division’s sample ballot shows “Favorite Natural Wonders of the World” as the example for how the ballot is laid out.
If you fill in more than one candidate’s bubble as your first choice, your ballot will be spoiled and will not count.
Once all ballots are received by Division of Elections, the tabulation machines will count the first page of the ballot using the regular method, and the second page of the ballot will go through the sorting process, whereby the candidate with the fewest first place votes is eliminated and their second choice moves up as their new first choice. The process continues until one candidate has more than 50% of the vote.
Learn about ranked choice voting and how the counting system works by watching a video demonstration of it by Americans for Prosperity-Alaska State Director Bernadette Wilson, at this link.