The Division of Elections is a busy place these days, with workers burning the midnight oil. Getting answers is not always easy. Here are some housekeeping dates to keep in mind:
On Friday the Division will be at the deadline to receive receive absentee ballots for the primary election mailed from within the U.S., U.S. territories of Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and from overseas.
Sept. 2 is when the regular primary election results will be certified.
Sept. 5 is the deadline for candidates to withdraw from the general election ballot. Tara Sweeney has already withdrawn from the regular congressional race. Most state House and Senate races only have two or three candidates in them; few will drop.
For the special general election conducted Aug. 16 for the congressional vacancy, Aug. 31 is the final count for the first-choice votes on the ranked choice ballot.
Aug. 31 is also when the Division of Elections will run the tabulation on the second choice, meaning that the third-place finisher will be dropped and his supporters, if they made a second choice, will have their votes reassigned to that second choice.
About Chris Bye: It’s a great gift for the Libertarians, who managed to get someone into the final four for the general election for Congress with candidate Chris Bye.
In the primary, Bye got 1,087 votes, or 0.61% of the vote on a crowded ballot. But then Tara Sweeney dropped out, and she did so in time for Bye to be able to move up onto the ballot.
Here’s his bio from his campaign website:
“Chris Bye is an Alaskan, a husband, a father of 4, a combat veteran, an Alaskan fishing guide, a youth soccer coach, former youth shooting coach and an avid outdoorsman. He is not a politician. His family is not connected to politics nor big money. He is not a DC insider. Chris is just a regular Fairbanks guy who firmly believes in Liberty and Freedom for all.
“Chris dedicated half his life serving this great nation, as both an enlisted soldier in the U.S. Army and later as a commissioned officer. And retirement did not dull the desire to continue that service. He has also witnessed first-hand the devastating effects of policies made in Washington D.C., so far removed from the realities Alaskans face. It is this first-hand evidence that draws him into serving beyond the Fairbanks and Fort Wainwright community by running for Congress.
“He will not pretend to have all of the answers. He will look to all Alaskans, especially those directly affected, to help solve the problems facing us. While we may not always agree, constructive dialogue including diverse perspectives is essential to creating the best Alaska, not just for certain groups but for everyone. We can do better. We owe it to our children to do better. And it starts by electing representatives who work for us, not just a party. It’s time Alaska.”
About Mary Peltola: She has a shot at winning the temporary congressional seat for Alaska, which we wrote about earlier. Some fun facts from Washington Post reporter Dan Zak: Her first role model in life was musher DeeDee Jonrowe, (who happens to be a Republican), who holds the fastest Iditarod time for a woman and is a three-time runner-up in the race. Peltola grew up dog-mushing.
Peltola’s first piece of legislation as an Alaska legislator was a gun ban, which was reaction to a school shooting in Bethel — pre-Columbine, in 1997. Peltola doesn’t believe citizens need what she calls “weapons of war.”
Peltola won 45 percent of the latest batch of ballots counted, about 21,000 ballot, which boosted her total vote to 39%. If the rest of the ballots break the same way, she’ll be close to 40% and may become the overall winner of the special election with the secondary votes of Palin and Begich. Remember, Peltola started with just 7% of the vote in the primary.
Ranked choice polling:
As of July 7, 2022, the major polling and analysts ranked this seat either solid or likely Republican:
- The Cook Political Report: Solid Republican
- Inside Elections: Likely Republican
- Sabato’s Crystal Ball: Solid Republican
Things to do Thursday:
Endorsements: Congressional candidate Nick Begich received the endorsement this week of the Ketchikan District 1 Republicans.
District 34 Republicans (Fairbanks) endorsed Frank Tomaszewski running for State House, Sen. Robb Meyers for re-election to Senate seat Q, and Kelly Tshibaka running for U.S. Senator. They voted in favor of censuring Sen. Click Bishop, a Republican who is running for reelection.
District 9 Republicans (Anchorage Hillside) endorsed Roger Holland for Senate Seat E (new).