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How far will red wave recede when rest of Alaskans’ ballots are counted?


With 28 State House Republicans winning on Election Day, Alaska conservatives were cheered by an apparent retaking of the House. But how many of those seats will still be retained after all votes are counted?

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Most of the remaining ballots will be counted on Nov. 10, and for most races, results will be definitive by Nov. 13. Overseas ballots are counted by Nov. 18.

Of the 40 House seats, a few are still in play:

District 4: Keith Kurber, the Republican challenger, is ahead of Democrat Rep. Grier Hopkins. If Hopkins gets 57 percent of the remaining votes to be counted, he can win. Hopkins won 65 percent of the early vote, until the Friday-Monday early vote. Anecdotally, a lot of conservatives cast their votes early over the weekend in Fairbanks.

District 5: Republican challenger Kevin McKinley could lose if Democrat Rep. Adam Wool gets 65% of remaining Fairbanks votes. Wool took 65% of early vote.

District 15: Republican David Nelson is ahead but Democrat Lyn Franks could win if she gets 59% of the remaining votes in Muldoon-East Anchorage. Nelson won 47% of the early vote. The remaining votes will be heavily military, so Nelson is fairly safe, as military members typically vote Republican.

District 16: Republican challenger Paul Bauer could lose if Democrat Rep. Ivy Spohnholz gets 55% of remaining votes. Spohnholz won 60% of early votes in the East Anchorage set.

District 21: Democrat Rep. Matt Claman will likely win re-election, over Republican challenger Lynette Largent in West Anchorage-Airport. Earlier, Largent was ahead but Claman has pulled ahead in the Election Day vote count, 50.42% to 49.31%, and is heavily favored in absentee ballots, due to ballot harvesting by statewide candidates Alan Gross and Alyse Galvin.

District 23: Kathy Henslee, the Republican challenger, would lose if the remaining votes break 61% for Democrat Rep. Chris Tuck. Tuck took 55 % of the early votes.

District 25: Republican Rep. Mel Gillis would have to get less than 38% of remaining votes. Calvin Schrage, the fake independent, would have to win 62% of the uncounted vote. Schrage took 58% of early votes already counted. Assuming that all remaining Republican votes go to Gillis and all remaining Democrat votes will go to Schrage, the most probable outcome is that Gillis will win by 100 votes. That would be historically accurate for the district.

District 27: Republican Rep. Lance Pruitt wins unless Democrat Liz Snyder wins 65% of remaining votes. Snyder took 52% of early votes.

District 31: Republican Rep. Sarah Vance wins unless fake independent Kelly Cooper wins 76% of remaining votes. There are no early votes in District 31.

District 35: Kenny Skaflestad, Republican, would lose if Rep. Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins, the Democrat gets 52% of remaining votes. Only 15 early votes were cast in the district.

District 36: Republican challenger Leslie Becker can win over fake independent Rep. Daniel Ortiz if she wins 61% of remaining votes. No Early votes were cast in this Ketchikan-Wrangell-Metlakatla district.

Senate Seat H: Madeleine Gaiser would lose if 51% of remaining vote goes to Democrat Sen. Bill Wielechowski. She won just 38% of the early vote.

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Suzanne Downing
Suzanne Downing
Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.


  1. Suspect that the Red Wave could recede quite a bit, unfortunately. Should the results in Senate seat H change by the 18th, that would not be surprising, given the district. Given that House District 25 is usually closely contested, I found it surprising that Mel Gillis took as strong a lead as he did on election day; of course, the contrast between a young person who wants nothing more than to be a professional politician and a widely experienced Alaskan was pretty clear…wish that Mr. Gillis had run a bit more aggressive campaign, but hopefully the results hold up.

  2. These are the COVID Democrats’ votes, yet to be counted. Make sure that the absentee votes are cast to the exact letter of the law.

  3. We are a bit of a laughing stock right now, that we can get these remaining votes counted. It’s actually rather sad. Div of Elections: you have ONE job.

  4. I’m not sure what you mean by no early votes in District 31 as there were lots of early votes but maybe they were already counted on Election Day.

  5. This is such B-S ! Any ballots ‘found’ after midnight on Election Day should be null and void. ANY PERSON who really wants to vote, can get their ballot in, on time. And why is Alaska Still counting ?? It can’t take more than 2 minutes to count a ballot, mark it down, and go on to the next one. This is two DAYS past election day!! wtf>? If Al Gross wins, the election was stolen by the Left. Just my (angry) opinion.

  6. Emily, Alaska law says that absentee ballots may be postmarked as late as Election Day. My son voted absentee on the east coast and stood in line at the post office to have his ballot hand-canceled on Tuesday morning. It’s going to take 3 or 4 days for that ballot to get to its destination in Alaska.

    Any registered voter can request an absentee ballot for any reason and postmark it as late as Election Day, even people who are not out of state going to school, traveling, etc.

    Suzanne, this was an eye opening article. I had no idea so many ballots were still outstanding, if that’s the word for them. And, of course, some of those absentee ballots won’t be returned. The Republicans did so well on Election Day. Let’s hope the absentee ballots follow those same general percentages.

  7. Early Vote is a term assigned to a ballot cast on or before Election Day with the voting process being directly entered into the Division of Elections Data Base. Since there is no DOE facility on the Kenai Peninsula, no Early Votes are cast on the Kenai Peninsula.
    A Homer voter may cast an Absentee In Person Ballot in the Homer City Clerk’s Office. That AIP ballot is verified by a Regional Absentee Board and counted with the other D 31 absentee ballots. This AIP process has been in place for decades.

  8. Elections Director Gail Fenumiai is doing exactly the right thing to ensure people do not vote twice – once by absentee and once by in person or early voting. Yes, there may be technology available to expedite this process in the future, but the important thing is that Alaska ensures that voters don’t either deliberately or inadvertently vote twice by counting the absentees after the in-person votes. In the past, when I worked in the Lt. Gov’s office, I was aware that when the absentees were counted early there was the possibility of individuals double-voting. Fenumiai’s approach eliminates that possibility.

  9. Do we only hire the mathematically challenged in our elections office? Does anyone have an answer why we can’t coun’t fewer ballots statewide than most counties in the Lower 48? What is the holdup on final numbers or even any updates?

    • Allegedly, they aren’t counting the remaining ballots until the 10th in order to make sure no one voted twice (absentee, then in person, etc.). As to why they’re waiting until a week after the election to do this (when most states can do it in a night, or couple days at most), I cannot say. My best guess would be laziness.

    • They have to be sure there wasn’t double voting. Matching the in person voting rolls to the mail in ballots. It’s not new, this has been going on for decades, we have just not voted during a pandemic in modern times.

  10. It is way past time for the State Legislature to rewrite Alaska Election Law. ALL Ballots, including mail-in, should be in official counting facilities by Midnight of Election Day to be deemed legal & all counting should be completed by midnight of the following day. Budget enough money to get this done. Also, both parties should have reasonable access to counting locations, as should non-partisans, so as to ensure no chicanery is taking place.

  11. Who should be emailed or mailed to voice our concerns about the voting process? Saying that it takes two weeks to send a list of absentee voters to some polls is preposterous and truly embarrassing. People get the government they deserve and we need to do the work to deserve better. Is it the Lt. Governor office the oversees the process? [email protected]

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