Ranked magic: Alaska one of two states with ‘undecided’ Senate and House results

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Alaska’s new election system, with its jungle primary and ranked-choice voting general election, is still waiting for election results, which haven’t been finalized, due to the ranked-choice runoff system.

On Nov. 23, the ballot tabulation will be applied to voters’ second and third-place choices — in some races — and it will all be over but the shouting.

For now, other than Georgia, which will go to a runoff on Dec. 6, what Alaskans know about the Senate seat is that a Republican will win it. It appears that Sen. Lisa Murkowski will be that person. Murkowski, confident in her win, taunted competitor Kelly Tshibaka on Twitter about the expected results:

Democrats kept control of the U.S. Senate, regardless of the expected Alaska result, winning at least 50 seats; Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York will remain Senate Majority leader. The Georgia Senate seat could make it 50-50, if Republican Hershel Walker beats Democrat Sen. Raphael Warnock, but that will still leave Vice President Kamala Harris, a Democrat, as the tie-breaking vote.

The House of Representatives has swung to Republican control. The Alaska House race is undecided, although it’s apparent to most that Democrat Congresswoman Mary Peltola will win, once Alaska’s ranked-choice formula is applied. She will be in the minority. Second-placer Sarah Palin has launched a drive to repeal ranked-choice voting.

Three seats, including Alaska’s, in the House remained uncalled Saturday night. The final districts in California, 13 and 22, could go either way.

Alaska is the only state that has nothing official yet in its governor’s race, although Gov. Mike Dunleavy appears to have maintained a lead of more than 50%, and could avoid the ranked-choice runoff. Barring unexpected votes appearing before Nov. 23, he’s got his unofficial second term in the bag.

Due to the new complicated voting methodology chosen by voters in 2020, Alaskans will wait. In Alaska, it’s a 16-day process for most races. Meanwhile, Florida was able to complete its election in one day.

Alaska’s election result shows a modest turnout this year of 264,994 ballots cast out of 601,795 registered voters, a 44% turnout. That compares to 2018, when 285,009 ballots were cast out of 571,851 registered voters, a 49.84% turnout. That was the lowest turnout in Alaska history, since records have been kept. It appears that this year, with the help of automatic voter registration with Permanent Fund dividend applications, the voter turnout will appear even lower.

80 COMMENTS

  1. I believe 16 days to receive and count overseas military ballots was in State statute, and predated the Ranked Choice Voting Referendum

    • Yes, and as usual proof of how a little knowledge is more dangerous than none at all.

      Most of Alaska does not vote via military deployed overseas. So your point, while technically correct is invalid and mostly inconsequential to the larger issue.

        • Why do you libs continually misrepresent what other people say? As nothing you said is even slightly accurate. What (s)he said is, very few votes come in from overseas and as such rarely have an effect on an election.

        • So you spout nonsensical non-sequiturs in the feeble attempt to score a ridiculous rhetorical point?
          .
          So you believe in woefully compromising electoral integrity, as long as it furthers your partisan and destructive political agenda?
          .
          So Lucinda really doesn’t understand the concept of logical argument one iota?

    • I’m curious of something else. If MRA ran a story saying White (not caucasian) was Alaska’s favorite color…

      Would you immediately rush out and say Black just to be pointlessly contrarian?

    • Reading comprehension, Frank. While the two-week allowable period for ballots to arrive has been in place, the possible reassignment of votes has not been done before this year, which is how you cannot know for sure who is the winner in some races. You may think you know, but the fat lady has not yet sung. But you know that. You are just being your usual contrary self. Try harder.

    • Exactly! As long as Mike Porcaro is paid to produce and relay a radio advertisement and give supporting commentary on his radio program (on any topic), he will do it. He has no discernible scruples and we have Ranked Choice Voting.

      Those of us with discernible scruples and reasonable intellect easily identify Porcaro as a money-grubbing, lazy nitwit.

    • He certainly was a huge proponent. In the most populous area of the State, with the largest radio audience of a proposedly ” Conservative ” show…
      He said ” Well, we Alaskan’s are different, being more for the Candidate than the Party ”
      I went on to cross swords with him.
      He would have none of it.
      And, well… it IS his show.
      I didn’t last long.

  2. Under the guise of the intention to increasing voter turnout AND cut cost. RCV nor “mail in” wink wink ballots does neither. Don’t confuse a ballot with a vote. There are ballots being turned in that are disenfranchising the legal votes, you can take that to the bank.
    Let’s not forget the “ register to vote “ while filling out the PFD forms.
    This is how you get more “registered “ numbers than physical numbers that are legally able to vote.
    Thanks Dunleavy for cleaning up our voter rolls.

  3. The entire State of Alaska, anxious Alaskans, having to unnecessarily wait for weeks after the general election to see who wins ……. by counting the meaningless second choice candidate, because their real candidate didn’t win. Exhibit A for repealing this ridiculous system. Totally undemocratic!
    .
    Exhibit B is that RCV slams the door on closed primaries, which political parties have a right to do. Also undemocratic!
    .
    Lisa Murkowski is again an illegitimate winner.
    .
    Mary Peltola is also an illegitimate winner
    .
    Neither gained 50% of the votes.
    .
    Undemocratic!!!

    • Don’t be Frank.

      It’s a stupid system, not an undemocratic one.

      Mary is a legitimate winner as will Lisa be. We the people stupidly voted this crap in. Can’t get any more democratic than that.

      Stupidly cast votes are still legitimate ones. As are the results.

        • I find exploiting your intellectual vapidness entertaining. Something to do while I sit on the toilet.

          Plus it makes me more regular. At my age, a good thing.

          It’s tempting to say more, but SD wouldn’t let it be posted.

        • Frank:
          My office opens at 8:00am. I sub-specialize in curing severe schizophrenia and habitual fantasization. I could probably clean you up in a year, maybe two. Mention MRAK and I’ll give you the doctor’s discount.

      • It is an undemocratic system because those that ranked a loser first, get a second vote. Two votes, or more per person is inherently undemocratic.

      • Democratic= majority rule. Under 50% is not a majority. Peltola snuck in b/c Begich and Palin spoiled the majority through an even split. Peltola’s people (“her people”) and some liberal Whites under pressure by “guilt,” are not the majority in Alaska.
        .
        Murkowski only got reelected b/c of huge dark money from outside the state, and basically the same people that voted for Peltola supported Lisa and the corrupt Murkowski Family dynasty.
        .
        Let’s be Frank about this! Most Alaskans care not for Murkowski or Peltola.

          • Dunleavy received more than 50% of the first choice votes. There will be no ranking.
            The people who voted a different candidate will not automatically get their second choice cast as a second vote in the same election.
            .
            When one person casts two or more votes for the same seat in the same election it is called fraud, and it is illegal. Just because RCV allows it does not suddenly make it legitimate.
            .
            Sincerely;
            Maury Suttman

  4. Frank, does the Division of Elections know how many ballots where sent to overseas military personel? I would think it would be a small number and would lot change the outcome of these contests.

    • Not many. Available on Division of Elections web site. There are 634 registered federal overseas absentee voters. So far, only 97 ballots have been counted. More can come in by the 23rd. Some results:

      Begich – 3
      Bye -1
      Palin – 5
      Peltola -86
      Write In – 2

      Chesbro – 51
      Kellly – 1
      Murkowski – 39
      Tshibaka – 5
      Write In – 0

      • So liberals, (well off & not Alaskan enough) support Mary & Murky from their snowbird nest?
        Bet you dollars to donuts that they are majority retired government workers.
        We deposit state money into their banks accounts monthly, while they lie on a beach and vote.
        Great system our gov workers have arranged for themselves.

    • I agree but the foundation of our Democracy is voting, if you start disenfranchising one group of voters no matter how small, where does it stop? I would like the DOE to report when these overseas ballots are coming to the legislature. I would like to see the grace period reduced to 8 days from 16 days

  5. Well let’s see how many states go this route? Repubs better learn how to play this game or continue loosing to a lower group of clowns.

  6. This masks the two more important issues.

    1-This isn’t the 1920s anymore. With today’s communications tech there is zero reason it should take weeks to get outstanding votes.

    2-Regardless of the value or inefficiency of RVC, between it and the endless delays in getting reliable vote counts, people are losing faith in our electoral process.

    If these two issues aren’t addressed, soon, getting out the vote will be a moot issue.

    And events like Jan 6 much more common.

  7. Want pictures?
    .
    For the picture of what’s coming for productive Alaskan people, look at twitter.com/BoKnowsNews/status/1045014671118553090.
    .
    No taunt, just a hint of Alaska’s place in the GOP, the Great Order of Pecking, and why Ranked Choice Voting had to be forced on Alaskan voters to keep Alaska voters in their place.

      • Since when has the majority always been right? By another name, your comment says the mob is always right.
        What if 50% plus one vote of Alaskans voted to beat Maureen Suttman senseless and throw her into the inlet? Would you think that makes it OK? I would not think that makes it OK, but the majority rules…
        .
        Obviously a ridiculous analogy, but the point remains. Just because a bunch of people voted for it does not mean it is good.
        Sincerely;
        Maury Suttman

      • With respect, that is only what voters were told.
        .
        Sadly, the will of the people may no longer be a force, why?
        .
        Voters have no way of knowing what the actual vote total was.
        .
        Voters don’t know what percentage of the majority might have been composed of fraudulently registered, dead, missing voters, or harvested ballots cured to reflect the desired outcome.
        .
        Voters don’t know exactly how the electronic tabulation gear worked.
        .
        Voters believe they know how Ranked-Choice Voting should work, but they don’t know how RCV did work.
        .
        So we ask questions, and absent credible answers from public servants, we keep asking.

  8. We must rid ourselves of this abomination. Ranked choice voting has to be intended to defeat democracy, and it is certainly doing so. Waiting this long for results, and for the ranking arithmetic calculation to be done destroys confidence in elections. Rendering primary elections meaningless may please every Democrat who was once Alaska Attorney General (and we have a lot of those) but it brings division and disgust throughout the ranks of honest Alaskans. By the way, our best shot at abolishing ranked choice voting ASAP is if every Republican elected to the Legislature organizes with Republicans; so if you have a Republican representing you in the Legislature please let them know that giving control to Democrats (especially having them chair legislative committees) is unacceptable!

  9. Petition to put Rank Choice on the Ballot in Alaska for removal!
    One Primary, One Party Candidate, One Vote per Person…as intended in the US Constitution.
    ‘https://www.alaskansforhonestelections.com/

  10. “When you are dead you don’t know it. The pain is only felt by others. The same is true when you are stupid.”
    [ Unknown]

  11. Milke p was on the RCV payroll made huge $ and is still warning about getting rid of it, I will never listen to him again. The RCV is total fraud, time always gives cheaters the opportunity to massage the count, and dictate the outcome, fed up is an understatement

  12. OMG. We still don’t know (insert shocked and horrified facial expression). Look how much has been accomplished in DC that we are already behind on because of this “delay”. Shoot (insert more dramatic facial expressions). Let’s hurry up. It must be fake news or fake results because we don’t have instant gratification (now insert conspiratorial looks around). Good grief. People on this thread sound either like crazy conspiracy theorists or whiny kids. FYI, it’s ok to wait a few beats to get it right. People voted for rank choice because they were tired of closed primaries and extreme candidates. What we are seeing is the best part of AK. The independent spirit that votes for what they think is right not a party. Really, is there any party that hasn’t let us down over and over. Why should they have our loyalty. For once I think we as a state are on the best side of common sense. Yeah for RCV! The quiet majority is happy it’s working like it should. Everyone else, slow your roll. The world isn’t going to end if it takes a couple weeks to have an official result. It’s not a conspiracy, it’s just a process to get used to.

    • The folks elected in this election don’t take office until the next term in January, DF. None can do anything until then.

  13. RCV was only partially successful. It will get Murkowski re-elected for another 6 years, and it will get Peltola elected for a full 2 year term to the US House of Representatives. But one of its main tasks was to defeat Mike Dunleavy for a record 2nd term. We also found that Scott Kendall, one of the authors of this abomination, while advertising how RCV would make all donations transparent has been reluctant to show the effect of the dark money and the names of its donors while simultaneously suing the Republican Governors’ Fund and the Dunleavy Campaign for so-called infractions. My one prayer for Scott Kendall is that he take his sleazeball antics to the lower 48, and soon. And take Bill Walker, his former boss, with him. Let Big Mike alone to try to get some of his agenda done this time around.

    • And…….Scott Kendall’s brother-in-law, Grier Hopkins, got his butt kicked by a newcomer in the Fairbanks house race. Daddy, Luke Hopkins, must not be too impressed by sonny boy Scott Kendall. He’s managing to break-up the Hopkin’s climate action cabal. Here, here, Mr. Kendall. Thank you for all you do.

  14. Everyone seems to be missing the point. The RCV system, by eliminating the primary, opens up the opportunity for candidates to claim a political party of their choosing that may not be a representation of the candidate’s actual values. Low information voters are easily duped by this dishonest system, especially when tons of dirty money is poured into such campaigns. It is called “ bait and switch “, and there are many examples in our local election. When a candidate has been censored, in some cases multiple times by the political party that they claim to represent, normally they would be eliminated in the primary. No such tool exists now, so we must rely on the candidate’s honesty to be what they claim.

    • Excellent point, Trig.
      .
      But given that rank choice voting favors the political establishment, the radical left and those who most seek powers over others (which largely overlap in any case), it will be defended tooth-and-nail by those same groups, even though it undeniably marks another further degradation of the integrity of, and public trust in, our electoral system.

      • Yep, we will probably be stuck with it. So, maybe we can find a new way to certify candidates are who they really are. Certainly, if someone was claiming that, for instance, that they were pro-NRA and they were not that there would be a big stink pot. But to claim that you are a Republican when you are not, oh well. Or, for the other side, claiming pro-abortion when you are not. A candidate should not be able to play both sides of the fence with no regret, other than post election surprises. In that case, they simply wait a few years or redistricting and run again.The high turnover of voters ensures their success. Say what you mean and mean what you say, and if you claim a party, then act like it. The voters are tired of liers , yet in Alaska, any jackass that is running in a district that is red, can put an “R” by their name, run a bunch of union payed adds, and win, despite their past record. People just don’t have time to research these candidates, and little effort is made to discredit them in small districts such as Eagle River/Chugiak. Yes, I mean people like Kelly Merrick.The Republican Party of Alaska needs a new way to deal with this, other than nothing. In Fairbanks, I understand that they at least put out informative flyers in regards to assembly and school board candidates. There’s no such effort in our states largest city, so we should question the motives for this lack of interest. Yep, question the “good guys”. There has not been any serious effort to clean their own house, and it is a mess. Nothing will be accomplished in our capital for at least the next two years because of this “ bipartisanship “ that is really just a bought and paid for bunch of idiots, with a few exceptions. God bless the real ones. There’s to much attention to the big seats while the left takes away our freedoms at the local level, because it takes a small amount of money to out advertise at a local level. Basically, unless people really get involved, we are screwed. It is like an alcoholic, we must reach rock bottom before we admit that we have a problem. I am waiting for the rest of you all.

  15. The correct way to handle all the late votes is to set it up so ALL VOTES that will be counted are in by Election day.
    Election day, the ballots are in, and everyone else… just drop dead.

    This is a simple scheduling task.
    But it makes it too hard to find the necessary votes after the fact….

  16. I dislike Rank Choice as much as the next person yet, as it’s been said in this forum, if our side isn’t smart enough to use the system that was ignorantly voted in, that’s on us. Until this unfortunate method of electing officials is rescinded, the repubs/conservatives need to get “knowed up” on how to work with it instead of getting in p-ssing matches about who can’t vote for whom because of their uncle’s last name. As my sixth grade teacher said forever ago “Poor officials are elected by people who don’t vote.” And now that poor officials have help in the form of Rank Choice, they’re also elected by people who don’t vote wisely.

    • I bang the drum constantly. These are the rules of the game. Learn it, get better at it, beat them with it.

      Whining doesn’t win. Effort and strategy does.

  17. Don’t worry little alaskan children, Mommy Juneau is doing the counting for us all. Notice your card in the mail tells you the 1st choice results were reported Nov 8th. Oh really? those ballots werent even brought in til the wee hours. Fake news told you that Mary was ahead already, didnt they? you cannot report something that has not been looked at yet. Before the Queen died she said ” Hand Count, or we are Finished ! “

  18. Another term for ranked choice voting is ironically enough, instant runoff voting. And yet here we are nearly two weeks after the election and the “instant” runoff has yet to happen. But no, we have to wait two weeks for the snail mail ballots to come in before even counting the ones we have. This system was set up to fail on so many levels that it’d be funny if it wasn’t eroding confidence in our democracy.

      • Suzanne, Dearest:
        I did cross swords with none other that the God-Blessed Mike Porcaro on his very own radio show live.
        This was back when it was under consideration, and he was an avid proponent.
        As I had done my homework and saw that R.C.V. had been tried, and was a proven failure, I had to brace him on it.
        His position was that ” We Alaskans are different, not so much for party as Individual ”
        My position was and is ” Hogwash ”
        He is the largest and most influential ” Conservative ” voice in the largest population base in Alaska. His words translate into actions.
        As I was at odds with his opinion, I don’t believe I lasted 45 seconds on the show.
        Yes, it is, in fact, his show.
        He did us a great dis-service.
        Against my blessing.
        And if my spelling or punctuation does not meet your standard for reply…
        I understand. I am just a dumb Business Owner, Home Owner, and Voter here in the People’s Republic of Alaska, Anchorage Chapter.

        • Not to beat the concept to death, but…

          I’ve never met Porcaro. If I did I suspect I’d like him, assuming the man and his radio persona are the same. I’m not a liberal. Politics does not dominate my life.

          My concerns are/were:

          1-As a prominent broadcaster he had an outsized reach to promote a business venture he was involved in. He did acknowledge he was involved, true. But his ongoing promotion of it was, in my opinion, a massive in kind campaign donation.

          Those of us who didn’t support it didn’t have access to 15 hours of radio weekly across Alaska to promote our side of the issue.

          It’s not my area of expertise but I believe he should had not discussed it (being a business venture) on air. He should have recused himself from the discussion. It was borderline unethical. But this is Alaska where political ethics are flexible.

          I never understood why the GOP and the anti RCV people never challenged him on ethics matters.
          But the GOP here is less than useless, so that question answers itself.

          2-He pushed it, hard. He has been anywhere from polite to condescending to people who spoke against it.

          It blew up, as expected. As a prominent advocate with money and airtime behind it, he needs to own his actions. Saying repeatedly if we had voted as he told us to is not accepting accountability. It’s blame shifting.

    • I get it.
      Mike and I have a very tenuous relationship, at best.
      I go on the show, and when I like what he is saying, it’s all good.
      When I contest him, I ain’t on long.

  19. Here is the real story.

    People are tired.

    People do not trust.

    When in doubt, people do not vote.

    That is the story.

    Fix yourselves, politicians, media.

    The beautiful thing about our freedom, is we can also choose NOT to vote.

    That should be the reflection the elitists are realizing in their collective mirror.

    The calm before the storm.

    I have nothing, I will never have anything, I have no interest in owning anything.

    I am a simple woman who likes people.

    And I want to be your President.

  20. Alaska has become a National embarrassment with this Rank Choice nonsense. There is ZERO reason we should not have out elections counted and wrapped by election night- ZERO. For all those in love with waiting a bloomin’ month for the results, maybe your memory has failed, but I can recall our elections reporting winners, typically night of… not too long ago. Heck, even Russia probably calls an election in a night. They probably push the buttons for their populations too, but what’s the difference with what we have going on now? What a joke. If we don’t wrest control of our elections soon, we don’t deserve to be a free people any longer. People better wake up.

    I’m embarrassed for my state. We should be leading the way. How is it possible that the least populated state is the last to count its votes? Sounds like someone wants to “find” the votes needed to win to me. Joke.

    One person one vote! Come on Alaska, we’re better than this!

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