Be warned. It’ll take a while to know the winners from Alaska’s primary election 

As voters across the country have turned to by-mail voting where possible, it’s also come with the warning to temper election night expectations that we’ll have any clarity on where races stand.  

And that’s no different for Alaska, where the Alaska Division of Elections isn’t planning to begin counting by-mail ballots until next week, meaning we’ll have to wait to see how dozens of high-stakes legislative races play out.  

“We will begin counting absentee ballots August 25, 2020 – once a voter history report has been completed for all other ballots. This is necessary to prevent duplicate voters,” said elections spokeswoman Tiffany Montemayor in an email. “The target date for Primary Election Certification is August 30.” 

According to numbers provided by the Division of Elections on Monday, 63,440 Alaska voters have opted to vote absentee, a number that includes several forms of remote voting as well as early in-person voting. Of that number 51,798 voters requested by-mail ballots while 1,155 people voted early in-person.  

Ballots that are postmarked today and received by Aug. 28 will be eligible to be counted. 

In the 2016 primary, a grand total of 88,817 votes were cast and 115,727 were cast in 2018.  

The highlights of today’s primary include several high-stakes Republican races where incumbent legislators from both the moderate and far-right wings of the party are facing stout challenges from party loyalists.  

If you need more bloviating on what an election without results means, be sure to tune in tonight to the virtual Election Central hosted by the Alaska Landmine and KONR 106.1FM – Out North Radio where I’ll be virtually popping by the festivities.  

It’s scheduled to start at 8 p.m. and run to… midnight?  

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