Your vote counts - When you can expect final election results

Some insight on how long citizens will have to wait on some of the final election results.
Published: Nov. 10, 2022 at 12:21 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - 2022 has seen an unusually long election season in Alaska and with the new ranked-choice voting system, citizens will have to wait a while longer to know some of the final election results.

Alaskans have been called to the polls 4 separate times this year.

With the death of Representative Don Young in March, the state held a special election to determine who would fill out the remainder of his seat. The primary for this race was held on June 11, largely by mail, and with the open primary system voted into law in 2020, 48 candidates appeared on the ballot.

Then on August 16, the state held its first ranked-choice voting system, as the Special Election coincided with the Regular Primary.

Following a round of local elections around the state, the polls have closed with the final election of the year.

However, many of the election results will not be known for a few weeks.

The Division of Elections has worked to have as many votes counted by the end of election night as possible.

Gail Fenumiai, the Alaska Division of Elections Director, said, “We always strive to get as much in as we can before we have to call it, so it would be ideal if we got all 401 precincts’ results in. “We’re just going to go until we know it’s not possible to get anything more that night, and we’ll pick it back up in the morning.” Fenumiai continued.

However, in the ranked-choice races, the results available on election night will only include people’s first choices. Fenumiai explains, “Those totals will include, obviously, the ballots that are counted at the precincts on election day, as well as some absentee ballots and early vote ballots,”

Missing will be many mail-in ballots. Future rounds will not be calculated until November 23, leaving time for all mail-in ballots to be received by the division. “Our law allows them to be received up to 15 days, if they’re postmarked overseas, and then we’ll have several thousand questioned ballots that we’ll need to process and count also that are voted on election day,” said Fenumiai.

On November 23, the Division of Elections plans to hold a livestreamed event where Alaskans can learn the results.

“We’ll look at the races to see which ones did not get the 50 percent plus one majority, and then do the ranked-choice tabulation for those races,” explains the Alaska Division of Elections Director.

Meanwhile, the Division expects to release updated first-round counts as well as updated results for other races on November 15 and 18.

And while all results are unofficial, some results might be better known at the end of election night.

If a race only involved two candidates or less, those results will not require second and third rounds of tabulation. Furthermore, Ballot Measure 1, which concerns a constitutional convention, simply involves a yes or no response. So does the question of whether judges will be retained in their seats.

After the Alaska State Review Board in Juneau has reviewed the results, the goal is to have the results certified by November 29.