Hard left Democrat Mary Peltola has narrowly defeated Republican Sarah Palin after the Alaska Division of Elections livestreamed the second and final round of vote counting on Aug. 31.

Alaska utilized a new and difficult to grasp ranked-choice voting system to determine the election. Third place finisher, Nick Begich, was eliminated in the second round of tabulation with most of the second-choice votes under his name being redistributed to Peltola and Palin as “first-choice” votes.

Most political analysts expected Palin to prevail since both she and Begich are Republicans and Peltola is a firmly entrenched, left-leaning Democrat. The expectation was that the vast majority of Begich voters would put Palin as their second choice, thereby giving the win to Palin.

But when the Division of Elections ran Begich’s ballots through the automated Dominion voting machines, the results stated that Begich’s 53,756 votes transferred to just an additional 27,042 votes for Palin and an additional 15,445 votes for Peltola. A total of 11,222 ballots were deemed “exhausted,” which means they were discarded because the voter either failed to vote for a second choice after voting for Begich, or they voted for a write-in candidate.

Before the second round of tabulation began, Peltola lead Palin by a margin of 75,761 to 58,945. That meant Palin needed to close a 17,000-vote gap in order to win. Instead, Palin made up 12,000 votes and lost by 5,219 votes. The final round of tabulation showed Peltola with 91,206 votes (51.4%) to Palin’s 85,987 votes (48.5%).

The election is not yet certified, and the Division of Elections will do a final round of tabulation once the results are certified.

With the victory, Peltola becomes the first woman to represent Alaskans in the U.S. House. She will now fill out the remaining four months of the late Rep. Don Young’s term. Young died suddenly this past March, bringing an end to his 49-year run in the House.

Peltola’s four-month term as Congresswoman from Alaska will expire in January. The full-time replacement for Young will be decided in the November general election, where Palin, Peltola and Begich are all still in the hunt.

Click here to support Alaska Watchman reporting.

SHOCKER: Peltola defeats Palin in ranked-choice election

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.


  • Gunter Thompson says:

    Finally, someone who can bridge the division in our country. She’s the real thing.

    • Reggie Taylor says:

      Well, I’ve got to admire your faith, even if it is poorly placed. If you think that Mary Peltola or Alaskan voters will somehow heal the division in this nation (or even state), I’ve got a Bridge to Nowhere I’ll sell you for really cheap.

  • James says:

    RCV scam working as intended, I see. Watch for a Blue sweep of all major offices in November.

  • Me says:

    Thank God.

    • Reggie Taylor says:

      Do you really think that this is the result of divine intervention? Or do you just misunderstand social psychology and psyops?

  • Whidbey Thedog says:

    An excellent result.
    Apparently 11,000 Republicans would rather have a Democrat in office, than vote for Palin – even as a second choice. Good luck changing any of those minds!

    • Reggie Taylor says:

      Apparently, dogs don’t understand math. It was over 26,000 voters who preferred the Demonrat over Palin; 11,000+ who voted for nobody 2nd, and 15,000+ who actually voted for Peltola with their second choice. It’s like voting for the dementia case over Trump in 2020. They didn’t even escape Trump doing so, because he still controls everything the government seems to do, which is try to make him go away. Oh, well. You just can’t hate yourself into prosperity and happiness.

    • David Shoemaker says:

      Maybe they were just annoyed at the voting confusion and just kept it simple. Definitely a mistake.

    • Sharon Alice Turner says:

      Have any of the commenters seen Project Veritas videos of how Murky’ Murkowski machine got ‘ranked choice voting’ in force by about 2.5 %? Well, at least Peltola is honest in that she loudly proclaimed to be Pro Abortion (no equivocations until just prior to election) . Begich, still proves he is not conservative, but the spoiler. grandma

  • Neil DeWitt says:

    So the democrats steal another election. Great. Why do we waist our time anymore voting? This stinks!

    • Lobo says:

      But when the Division of Elections ran Begich’s ballots through the automated Dominion voting machines…….

    • Gunter Thompson says:

      Sure. Had your candidate won you’d be praising the fairness of the election process.

      • Lobo says:

        Once agian, you are mistaken… “Rigged Choice Voting” is corrupt, and it, along with the manipualtive Dominion voting machines need to be done away with.. Completely.. Even if my choice had won, I would have still had major distrusts in that proven fraudulent process..

  • North to Alaska says:

    Everyone knows that Peltola was NOT the second choice of that many Begich voters.
    You know full well this is a scam.
    There needs to be a hand count (regardless if it is a tank choice system).

  • Scott says:

    Yea, because people who voted republican would rank a democrat second. Clearly someone brought a pen and “amended” some ballots to make sure Begich second choice votes would become democrats… this is how the horrid rank voting system goes, we all knew it.

    • Dan O says:

      That explains why it took weeks from the initial tabulation. It takes time to fill out 12 to 15 thousand ovals. It did not make sense that the second choice could not be revealed immediately after the initial count was released. There is simply no way I will believe that more than a quarter of the Begich voters had Peltola as their second choice.

    • Wilster Willy says:

      I agree. What prevents someone from filling in some “exhausted” ballots? Do they mark the not filled in spots? Or can someone just walk by with a pen and fill in the second place?

  • Steve says:

    We can all thank Lisa Murkowski and her lawyers for this outcome! And yet she’ll get rewarded in November because of RCV.

  • Jakob Ernst says:

    We conservatives/Republicans need to stop blaming ranked choice voting. If you want to win the game you’ve got to play the game. The reason Mary won is because Sarah and Nick care more about their egos and political careers than they do the advancement of their values. If either one of them had dropped out before this election, conservative values would easily win! Nick and Sarah have lost all of my respect and if one of them doesn’t drop out before the general election, I won’t even give them the satisfaction of a vote. Stop blaming ranked choice voting.

    • AK Fish says:

      You can thank AL GROSS for being paid off or warned/threatened off to drop out for the greater good of the democrats to win this seat. Now if the republicans smartened up and got one of the other two to do the same, it would have been a different story. But here we are. November will be the same story, split the conservative votes between Begich/Palin and Petola wins again.

      • Jakob Ernst says:

        Yes, I would encourage everyone to write and call BOTH Sarah and Nick and tell them to get over themselves and start working together for the benefit of the values that claim to care so much about. One of them needs to drop out – I don’t care which one. And the person who drops out needs to immediately endorse the other one and apologize for all their foolish political attacks. Unify the conservative base and we win. Plain and simple.

    • Gunter Thompson says:

      Jakob: peltola won because she’s the better candidate.

      • Jakob Ernst says:

        I’m not sure what you mean by better, but I will say the Democrat party is better at playing the political game than the Republican party. Republicans whine and complain about ranked choice voting, Dominion voting machines, and bicker between two nearly identical candidates. Meanwhile, Democrats take advantage of the system, have back room discussions, work deals, and prop up one good enough candidate so that they win. So in that specific sense yes, Mary was a better candidate.

      • Vickie says:

        Better Unknown!

      • Gunter Thompson says:

        Jakob: Peltola is the better candidate because she is exactly who she says she is. She’s a uniter, an Alaskan with a deep and normal and qualifying life (unlike Palin). She listens, she’s polite and kind. All the MAGA fears about her being in lockstep with Biden and Pelosi is just weak political theatrics. I trust her. Don’t we all deserve an normal, educated and intelligent representative?

      • Jakob Ernst says:

        I can certainly agree that Mary is who she says she is and is very well-spoken and educated. As for polite, kind, and intelligent… using those words to describe someone who supports murder is certainly a stretch. And to say that she isn’t in lockstep with Biden and Pelosi is factually incorrect. Her policy platform is nearly identical to the DNC policy platform. See and

        I just hope that Nick and Sarah realize this before it is too late.

    • AK Pilot says:

      Thank you! I’ve been saying this for months and our worst fears have come true, not because the system is “rigged” somehow but because 11,000 conservative voters were too stubborn to rank Palin second. I place a large part of the blame on conservative media which has spent the last 2 years attacking ranked choice voting rather than educating its readers/listeners on how to navigate it. Luckily this one only lasts 4 months, so hopefully those in positions of influence in the conservative community (we all know who I mean) can check THEIR egos and work to win with the system we have.

    • Dan says:

      Stop blaming RCV? You’ve got to play the game? Like we’re gonna stop blaming crazy Joe for inflation or Trump for exposing the deep state? RCV is the most confusing voting system on planet earth. You don’t agree? Okay try to follow this RCV reality sequence. Your second Rank Choice Vote will only be counted if your first choice candidate has been eliminated. Your third choice vote will only be counted if both your first choice and second choice candidates have been eliminated. If you can follow all that how about: your fourth choice will be counted only if your first choice, second choice, and third choice candidates have been magically eliminated. If your still following how about your fifth choice will only be counted if your first choice, second choice, third choice, and fourth choice candidates somehow get eliminated. Within all that confusion you actually think your going to somehow run an audit? One person, one vote? Are you kidding me? RCV was specifically designed to grant anyone unsure of their politic’s a guaranteed advantage. Any kind of advantage within any voting system automatically voids the manufacturer from US elections.

  • Greg in Homer says:

    I like the part of the story where it said when Begich’s ballots were fed into the Dominion machine… A Dominion machine, What could go wrong?

  • Andy says:

    Dominion is involved, we need a hand recount.

    • Whidbey Thedog says:

      Rolling out the tired old Dominion excuse again, huh? Well, knock yourself out and go do a hand recount. The result will be the same.
      Of course you know that the machines are accurate – but you can’t stop yourself from repeating the conspiracy theory put into your head by Trump and his disciples. Just like my dog who comes trotting into the room when she hears a doggie treat fall to the floor. Think for yourself, Andy.

      • Vickie says:

        Pound sand Andy.

      • Dan says:

        You are completely insane. China owns Dominion and manipulates any U.S. election they have an interest in, period. Old Dominion excuse? What, like the old tobacco excuse for cancer or how nicotine isn’t addictive? Dominion Voting System should be banned nationwide because it has a corrupt track record and a foreign origin and current ownership. It’s our elections! Are you kidding me? It’s our elections!

    • Gunter Thompson says:

      You’ve been fooled. And you wanted to be fooled.

      • Vickie says:

        Gunter – I don’t think so, we’ve all been fooled, including yourself. Now get off your high horse and lets all work to fix this. We as Americans have been ignorant to our “Chinese Friends”. The truth is being revealed, if you will only open your eyes to see it. Good luck

      • Gunter Thompson says:

        You’ve been fooled Vickie.

  • Trever says:

    The Establishment Republicans and the church members pretty much deserve living in communist Democrat world after laughing at the Patriots and so-called conspiracy theorists because… sometimes they can sound “unloving” and it could hurt someone’s feelings!!!

  • Akdale says:

    Ak republican party is a joke. This is a derserved result of garbage management by them. Many of us conservatives are done with them. RCV not the issuse. GOP is the problem. Non voters another big problem. I voted for one person. If we get a Dem so be it. Let things get worse before they get better. Many need to get off thier arse and get involved. Demand better or get lees than.

  • Proud Alaskan says:

    Dan fagan was saying if Peltola gets in, he’s blaming Sarah voter’s for not ranking the red.
    What just happened who’s to blame now, half of Nick’s voter’s did not rank or YES even voted for Peltola.
    Funny how when the shoes on the other foot.
    For all of you out there saying Sarah should step down. Open your eyes Sarah,Beat Nick.
    This rank choice voting has to go. Mail in ballots needs to go too. We need to tell the Republicans in Juneau to stand up. To this stupidity voting system and change it back to, one vote in person with ID

    • Ryan Nelson says:

      Admit it, Alaskans dont like Sarah. If they did, she would have gotten more thn 50% of Nicks vote. Nick said rank the red, so its Sarahs falt she was so toxic that the majority of Alaskans would rather vote for Peltola voter the cringe Palin.

  • Joe Hartley says:

    Either Nick or Sarah must drop out of the race for the Congressional seat period. Further they must embrace and support the Republican candidate. Campaign with each other. It takes courage to do the right thing. This is about your fellow Alaskans. Time is wasting.

  • Vickie says:

    All’s I am hearing is “how could someone win who know one has heard about until the name showed up on the ballot?” I don’t care who you voted for…. This is pure theft, no doubt about it.!! This fight is far from over! True The Vote has got all they need!

  • RB7 says:

    There is a lot if ignorance in here. All I see is division. R vs D. Like a bunch of school children. It’s pathetic. This is not about hand recounts or RCV or who beat who. The problem is stupid people who think the system created around us is for our benefit. The rules are made for them, NOT us. Until you wrap your simple minds around that fact you will remain in the echo chamber chasing your tail like a good little useless eater. We ALL need to COME TOGETHER to fix the system. It is broken. It cannot not work as intended in it’s current state. Can’t you see that? Look around. Can’t you see what’s happening? If you don’t wake up, we are all fucked. Voting will soon be a thing of the past. You won’t have a voice. You won’t have a vote. You will have nothing and be happy. If that is what you want for yourself, your children, your families, our communities and our country, then you are the enemy of the people. The three most important words in the history of this world are WE THE PEOPLE. We have the power to make real change. It’s time to stop letting other dictate how you think. Wake up. Educate yourself. Penetrate the lies so that you can see who the real enemy is. We are running out of time.

    • Gunter Thompson says:

      Vickie: I skimmed the link you provided. I have no expertise to support or refute the claims. But I don’t see any local connection specifically to Peltola. Seems like a long shot to claim the Chinese stole anything. And before you or others call me a stinking communist fascist socialist , I distrust the Chinese.

  • Anna says:

    She is dirty and bad for Alaska.

  • M L Moore says:

    Lots of views, everything from folks who slipped through the wire into Alaska from California, some folks that want to be nice, and others that tell it the way it is, such as Lobo, Proud Alaskan, and a few others. My 2 cents, it’s not a game, computers can easily be manipulated, RCV is not a viable one person one vote process, and is slippery in everyway. Mary, or any other Democrat is not the voice of we the people of this State, Alaskans merely tolerate Democrats as a nuisance.

    • Gunter Thompson says:

      Moore, do you, does anyone have evidence that “computers” were manipulated? Without evidence your concern is baseless but it does promote distrust which the Republicans advance.

  • Tiffany Borges says:

    Next up, Bill Walker returns by demand of the people! #murky #dreamteam #satanica

  • Friend of Humanity says:

    Eyes are open to the results. There was enough talk before the elections about this ranked choice voting. I hope that there are investigations going on in the background and I hope that the democrats and Rinos that were installed due to rigged elections get their due. Hopefully, this election will be a good lesson for the cheaters. There’s no reason for honest people to have to manipulate votes to get their person honestly elected. This vote manipulation is wrong – teaching people that they have to manipulate things in order to get what they want. Isn’t that the demorat way?

    • Gunter Thompson says:

      “There’s no reason for honest people to have to manipulate votes to get their person honestly elected.” Yet January 6.

  • Steve says:

    Just reading these opinions is a great indicator that Alaskan’s do not trust our elections any more. How do we repeal RCV?

  • Ryan Nelson says:

    Sarah Palin i s toxic to most Alaskans. Nick Begich 2022!

  • JD says:

    I do not want to hear a bleeping thing from the “WATCHMAN” when you had a contributor article supporting “republican” Nick Begich!!!
    He’s no conservative! If he was really a conservative he would have been aborted from his family! Yet you publish an article by an author who KNEW Nick endorsed the disgraced Burkowitz over the conservative for “personal” reasons!
    Nick, the libs and Lisa Murkowski got EXACTLY what the wished for in this election. Nick fooled you (WATCHMAN) and enough conservatives to get a lib elected to Alaska’s only house seat.

  • Jonathan ("Jon") Ewig says:

    In November, To level the playing field one of the Republicans needs to drop out. Let the other Republican go head to head against Peltola. Then we can win and the other Republican can go down anyway under deals that are made.