With the latest tabulation showing Kelly Tshibaka holding a slim lead over U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (43.34% to 43.11%) the contest for Alaska’s U.S. Senate seat is most certainly headed to a ranked choice showdown next week.

Currently, Tshibaka holds a 565-vote lead over Murkowski (103,972 to 103,407) but that number will change as the remaining early, absentee and questioned ballots are tabulated over the next five days.

If no candidate garners more than 50% of the vote, then it heads to ranked-choice runoff on Nov. 23, which will only take seconds as the numbers are plugged into a computer.

The first candidate to be eliminated will be conservative Republican Buzz Kelley, who finished in fourth place. As of Nov. 15, he had 6,880 votes, or 2.87% of the vote. Many of Buzz Kelley’s second-choice votes are expected to go to Tshibaka, but they still won’t be enough to push her over 50%.

The next person to be eliminated will be hard-left Democrat Patricia Chesbro, who earned 10% of the overall vote. The majority of her second-place votes will likely go to Murkowski, who sides with Democrats on issues like abortion and the LGBTQ agenda. That said, many Democrats despise Murkowski because she voted to confirm former President Trump’s Supreme Court nominees who ultimately overturned Roe v. Wade this year. Tshibaka is hoping many Chesbro voters have simply refused to select a second choice. If so, this might give Tshibaka a narrow victory.

Here’s the order of events over the two weeks.

NOV. 18 – The Division of Elections will release updated results from early, questioned and absentee ballots. This is the deadline to receive all absentee ballots mailed within the United States and its territories. So long as the ballots were postmarked on or before Election Day (Nov. 8) they can be counted.

NOV. 23 – The Division of Elections will, once again, release updated results from early, questioned and absentee ballots. This is the deadline to receive all absentee ballots mailed from overseas voters. The division will then focus on all the races – both statewide and local – in which no candidate received more than 50% of the vote. Those races will undergo the computerized tabulation at 4 p.m.

NOV. 29 – This is the target date to certify the election results.

DEC. 2 – This is the deadline to apply for a recount in the Governor/Lt. Governor race.

DEC. 4 – This is the deadline to apply for a recount in all other races, including the U.S. Senate and House contests. Recounts are then held within five days of the receipt of the request.

Click here to support Alaska Watchman reporting.

Tshibaka v. Murkowski: What’s next in Alaska’s razor close U.S. Senate race?

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.


  • Fed up tax payer says:

    Just kickin the can down the road, gathering the votes they need to cheat again. We all know how this plays out. Can you say MILITARY TRIBUNALS! They are already caught. Time will bring the truth.

  • The Alaska Poaster says:

    Imagine for a moment that the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA is BEST BUY, INC. Ignore for a moment that both of them are in fact corporations, but instead focus on the fact that both have Chief Executive Officers. BEST BUY thinks everything is sunshines and roses, business is booming, they’re the greatest, etc. Little do they know that massive industry shifts are about to occur; they don’t buy the hype, and they’re staying the course. This inaction will inevitably end BEST BUY, it will go out of business, but not right away. It will take a few years for the industry markers to align to the new reality, but it will be impossible for BEST BUY to course correct; they’ve sealed their fate. Nonetheless, BEST BUY continues to hold shareholder meetings and otherwise function as any corporation would, including electing a board of directors and a CEO.

    Donald Trump is vying to be the next CEO of BEST BUY.

    • Friend of Humanity says:

      This corporation running our country right now is going down. The fiat system is going down. There is still a nation and there are other forms of “money.” Once the corporation goes belly up and the fiat system with it, the nation will be freed from the corporation rules. Each state should have recognized that the government does not run the People, but that the People run the government. Infiltration into state politics has influenced the belief that the government has the final word on everything. This is not true. The People have the final word. President Trump has a proven track record to lead the nation back into self-reliance and prosperity and would like to do so again after we the People have defeated the corporation and the fiat system. Key players are being put in place by the People to break those corporation chains and the People are looking forward to being free again.

    • Neil DeWitt says:

      I cant wait for Trump to get back into the Whiye House. You liberals over the last two uears have taught him exactly how to fo business. All he has to do is execute order everything. build the wall. close the southern boarder, ship people from Texas, Arizona, New Mexico to Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and mostly to California and let you liberals deal with your problems you created. It’s going to be so good sitting back and watching. I hope I don’t laugh to hard.

      • Truth Network says:

        It is sad that this is your “solution” to real problems our nation faces.

        America first shouldn’t mean division and hatred.

      • Matthew myers says:

        “truth network” (like Demoncrat bills that are named the opposite of what they really are)
        For clarity, could you rename your tag ‘leftist shill network’? It would be accurate and therefore helpful.
        Have you ever noticed that the emotional plea is that everything that they disagree with is labeled as hatred and division?

      • Clark says:

        Ironically, the stupid ‘bussing’ trick will backfire on you no matter what your intentions were. Those states actually care about other human beings, so they will do their best to take care of them all. Guess what….that gets them more seats in the House…House seats are garnered by population size, not citizen count. Those states sending people away could even lose seats due to population changes.

        And if push actually came to shove, there is nothing stopping other states from bussing people right back to the state they came from. Instead of calling the press and making a big public spectacle, they can just park the bus and let those people walk. They have chosen not to do that, but they could.

  • Elizabeth Henry says:

    RCV is corrupt. The taking so long to count votes is corrupt. The best thing that could happen is for it all to backfire on Murkowski. Sadly though It likely won’t. Our voter rolls need to be purged annually, and RCV needs to be eliminated.

    • Truth Network says:

      Let me guess: If your preferred candidates were likely to win, you would be singing a different tune.

      • Matthew myers says:

        Wrong. When Kelly wins, RCV will still need to go.

      • Matthew myers says:

        Wrong. When Kelly wins, RCV will still need to go.
        The system is telling me this is a duplicate comment so I am adding this.

      • Terry Stires says:

        Absolutely correct, Truth. There are three planks to the republican platform: hypocrisy, dishonesty and hypocrisy.

  • Friend of Humanity says:

    So, some candidates – or already elected – are returning the money from the FTX donations that they received. I wonder if Murkowski is planning on returning the money given to her? A little too late isn’t it since the campaign is over? Kelly Tshibaka should demand that this election is re-run due to these illegal funds!

  • Friend of Humanity says:

    Does Kelly Tshibaka have a case of election interference if FTX funds were donated to the Lisa Murkowski campaign? Kelly should demand that a new election be held for this race! Research FTX donations to candidates.

  • Neil DeWitt says:

    If I don’t die of old age first I might actually find out one day somewhere in the future who actually won the election two weeks ago. This is so sad. Our government and state has gotten so corrupt we can’t vote and have the party that night orthe next day knowing who won like we used to when we case a ballot the day of. We really should just say Kelly won. Governor Dunleavy won. they got the most votes. This RCV crap is another liberal way to cheat and steal another election. We need another option to repeal RCV on tge next ballot.

  • Friend of Humanity says:

    I wonder if Truth Network is Whidbey Thedog or is it Clark or which other troll or schill or bot have we had? They always focus on trying to make We the People be the problem, try to belittle us or make us question our party or ourselves. Just amazing the psyops that the left uses to try to defeat the God-fearing, humanity-loving People of this World. Stand Fast those who love humanity and are fighting the good fight. In the end, evil is defeated and God wins. Hallelujah!

    • Clark says:

      Sorry FoH. I only use my real name. I’m not afraid to share my truth. How come you are anonymous?

      Why are you guys so bent out of shape that Alaska lets its people vote? There is absolutely 0 evidence of fraud happening here. The law is clear…we have a lot of people in remote villages, and thousands of troops serving abroad. They all get to vote too! Why is that hard to understand?

    • Terry Stires says:

      I grew up in Utah surrounded by the Mormon faith. They are experts at promoting persecution (and some of it is true and well deserved). Now here comes Friend of Humanity with hankie in hand, red-eyed and weepy. He/she/it/they would do well to stay tethered to maturity and evidence (and BTW, the bible isn’t evidence of what you think it is).

    • Truth Network says:

      I don’t know who Clark is, nor Whidbey Thedog. I also don’t know why it is hard to for you to understand that there are viewpoints other than your own. More than half the country has repudiated the extremism that you seek. I am a moderate Alaskan who grew up Republican and is saddened that the party has lost its way.

    • Friend of Humanity says:

      Clark, Terry Stires, Tr… Network, three of you are back at it again – attack mode. Oops, where’s Whidbey Thedog? Start listing some evidence for the things that you say, so that people can go research your facts for themselves.

  • Michael Johnson says:

    Notice they will run this through computer tabulation, which will ensure a Murkowski victory. Kelly must demand and if necessary, sue for a hand recount. She also needs to verify the registered voters to make sure the dead people and those who no longer reside in Alaska, are removed from the count!

  • DaveMaxwell says:

    You all will not like this but; Tshibaka failed miserably! Murkowski is a lying cheat, agreed? Of course we agree. Tshibaka is a great candidate/person, agreed, sure we agree. Now then with the opportunity she was given by dunleavy to investigate the division of elections, and dunleavy redacted 97% of it. Why the hell is she unwilling to reveal it to the people who paid for it??? Is she stupid beyond belief??? One thing is sure now , this corrupt system that she inspected just turned her into a loser!!!