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Palin leads in release of first batch of special primary election results

Division of Elections will not finish counting ballots until June 21
The first batch of special primary election results was released Saturday night by the division...
The first batch of special primary election results was released Saturday night by the division of elections.
Published: Jun. 11, 2022 at 9:10 PM AKDT|Updated: Jun. 11, 2022 at 9:27 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The first batch of special primary election results was released Saturday night by the division of elections.

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin currently leads all candidates with 32,371 votes, which is 29.77% of the 108,981 ballots that have been tallied as of just after 10:30 p.m. Friday. Fellow Republican Nick Begich III is currently in second place with 20,994 votes, and nonpartisan candidate Al Gross is currently in third place with 13,563 votes. Mary Peltola is the lone Democrat who currently ranks in the top four with 8,101 votes.

The election to determine who would represent Alaska in Congress for the remainder of the late Rep. Don Young’s term drew dozens of candidates from political newcomers to experienced elected officials. Young died on March 18, and his memorial service in Anchorage was attended by thousands of Alaskans less than a week later.

On Friday, the Division of Elections reported that 507,997 ballots had been mailed out to Alaskans. Of those, 126,292 had already been returned.

Though few had filed to run against Young prior to his death, the “$100 lottery” drew interest from many different types of candidates. There are 16 Republican candidates on the ballot, six Democrats, two Libertarians, one candidate each from the American Independent Party and the Alaskan Independence Party and 22 who are nonpartisan or undeclared.

The deadline for the Division of Elections to receive absentee ballots is June 21. The Division of Elections will provide three more sets of results on June 11, 15 and 17 before the election is certified on June 25.

The special primary is the first election in Alaska to utilize rank choice voting. The general election that will feature the top four vote-getters will be held on Aug. 16.

This article has been updated with additional information.

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