Election results in Alaska’s Aug. 16 special ranked choice election and statewide primary have been updated with 80% of precincts reporting as of Aug. 17.

In the special election to choose a temporary replacement to fill out the remaining months of late Congressman Don Young’s term, Mary Peltola (38.38%) was leading Sarah Palin (32.59%) and Nick Begich (29.03%). These initial numbers could well change, however, as the remaining ballots along with absentee and overseas votes are tallied over the next two weeks.

If no candidate earns more than 50% of the vote – which is likely – the candidate with the fewest votes will be eliminated and all the second-ranked choices on the eliminated candidate’s ballots will be awarded to the two remaining candidates as first place votes.

If Palin maintains her advantage over Begich, she would likely defeat Peltola (a Democrat) because Begich would be eliminated and his second place votes will more than likely go to fellow Republican Palin in the second and final round of tallying.

Final results for all contests, however, won’t be available until Aug. 31.

In the primary contest for U.S. Senate, the top four primary finishers were Lisa Murkowski (43.73%), Kelly Tshibaka (40.39%), Patricia Chesbro (6.22%) and Buzz Kelley (2.23%). If those numbers hold, these candidates will move on to the general election. Buzz Kelley is a pro-Trump Republican, which means if he makes it to the Nov. 8 general election, and is the first eliminated, most of his votes would likely go to Tshibaka. That still might not be enough to get her to more than 50% of the vote, which would mean that Chesbro would be the next person eliminated. If Chesbro were eliminated on Nov. 8, the vast majority of her second place votes would likely go to Murkowski since she is a pro-abortion Republican who is willing to break ranks with her party to vote with Democrats. Chesbro’s second-place votes could be enough to give Murkowski the victory.

The top four finishers in the governor’s primary race were Gov. Mike Dunleavy (41.89%), Les Gara (22.04%), Bill Walker (21.92%) and Charlie Pierce (6.87%). Rep. Christopher Kurka was in fifth place with 3.98% of the vote.

If those numbers hold, Kurka would finish fifth and not advance to the November election.

The leading four candidates in the U.S. House primary were Mary Peltola (35.05%), Sarah Palin (31.40%), Nick Begich (26.92%) and Tara Sweeny (3.57%). If those results hold, all four of these candidates would advance to the Nov. 8 general. The winner would then become the full time replacement for the late Congressman Young, and serve out a complete two-year term, beginning in January.

In addition to the statewide races, there were 59 primary contests for seats in the Alaska Legislature, but only one of those races had more than four candidates running.

Under ranked-choice, the top four finishers go onto the general election, which means that every single candidate moves onto the Nov. 8 election, except for Kieran Brown in House District 35, where five candidates were running. Brown finished fifth and was therefore eliminated.

For complete results, including detailed breakdowns of each State House and State Senate race, visit the Alaska Division of Elections website here.

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Alaska elections: Murkowski, Peltola, Dunleavy in the lead, sort of

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 24 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.


  • Proud Alaskan says:

    I can’t believe that many people voted for standing Small Mike
    People wake-up
    We’ll just have to wait and see this November.
    Remember if you didn’t vote today shut our mouth.

    • kris says:

      He was the Trump supported guy (unfortunately). And a lot of people vote for who he happens to back…which in some cases is good; but I think he was min-informed concerning Mike. The gov. wasn’t even at the Rally.

  • Friend of Humanity says:

    Unofficial results August 17, at 01:55 am from
    US Senator: (a 5,063 difference)
    Murkowski, Lisa REP 66,288 43.73%
    Tshibaka, Kelly C. REP 61,225 40.39%
    US Representative: (a 5,559 difference)
    Peltola, Mary S. DEM 53,342 35.05%
    Palin, Sarah REP 47,783 31.40%
    Seems odd about the Senate race because I don’t know anyone that wanted Murkowski. Holding my thoughts about Peltola, but I thought the polls had her pretty far behind initially.

  • NAV says:

    Alaska’s voting system was rigged and Murkowski is behind the rank choice voting!!!!

    • Scott Ehmann says:

      Yes I am disgusted with Alaska voting rules. trickery and description is the name of the game these days.. but I choose to stand and fight for truth.

      • Scott Ehmann says:

        There is some good news though. One less rhino at the swamp watering hole.. Cheneys gone.

      • Bob Boynton says:

        So the ranked choice is working for Palin, Baggage will be kicked out and 2nd choice will prevail, assuming 2nd choice of most republicans is Sarah another republican!

    • Kenneth L. Wells says:

      Exactly. If she wins, it’s pretty conclusive; the cheating scam worked.

  • Mongo Love Candy says:

    Stupid people casting stupid ballots + Dominion voting machines = Status quo

  • Dee Cee says:

    Voted for dunleavy for one reason only: he is preventing the AKANG from forcibly separating my husband from the guard because he put in a religious accommodation. I need him to stay. It’s a sad fact, but within my tiny world, that’s the most important thing to me right now.

  • KN says:

    Remember all the early voting in person ballots will not be counted until 7 days after the election as told to me by an election worker. There was a steady stream of people voting early on most of the days for the last 3 weeks. That could change up things as I know many who voted early and not for any of the current leaders. May God help us all.

  • Michael Alexander says:

    Four voting machines in Anchorage malfunctioned. Surprise, surprise Sarge. Could it be the 5 k difference might be found there? As a previous person noted. Stupid people doing stupid tricks for their masters.

  • JD says:

    So with only one liberal running for the house and Sarah and two other “republicans” made it much harder for the true conservative. I’d bet a hefty sum that someone convinced Nick to run as a republican to siphon off votes from Sarah. Gets him name recognition and gives the liberal better chances.

  • MPJ says:

    At this point, the important race will be the Kelly race. Alaska absolutely must get rid of the traitor who is selling us out to the Biden agenda! Everyone that truly knows what is at stake in the Senate race needs to be active in trying to convince Alaskans to ditch Murkowski. We need between 4.5% to 5.5% percent of the vote to pull it away from Murkowski. This can be done through just not ranking her, period! Do not under any circumstance rank her and if you need to make phone calls or go door to door, please fight to the last day to bring the evil reign of Murkowski to an end. She purposely organized an effort to get Ranked Choice Voting in Alaska, which was supported by out of State dark money. This shows how much contempt she has for Alaskans! She has voted against just about every conservative initiative that Americans support. Democrats in this state are organizing to support her. Get busy folks, we need to get behind Kelly 100% or you could literally see this State collapse from the war against oil as Murkowski is supporting the energy killing Green New Deal.

  • NAV says:

    The outcome was decided long ago with Murkowski’s influence and dark money backing rank choice which is no choice at all and the so called voting for open primaries must be audited because no way did Alaskans vote to be rid of closed primaries !!! Did you know only two states in the union use rank (NO) choice voting and both are run by DEMONRATS and your republican RINO legislation ramrodded it right through in state legislation!!!!