How to watch the results today of Alaska’s first ranked choice election

photo collage of three people
U.S. House candidates Sarah Palin, Mary Peltola and Nick Begick III. (Liz Ruskin/Alaska Public Media)

Today we finally learn who will be Alaska’s next member of Congress, when the ranked choice part of this election is activated.

The Alaska Division of Elections plans to livestream the tabulation from Director Gail Fenumiai’s office starting at 4 p.m. You can watch the livestream on the division’s Facebook page. You can also sign up for the virtual event to get a reminder. It’s a new process for the state, and the division hasn’t provided a lot of details, but viewers should be able to see all the action. Or as much as one can see from a process that’s really a computer query applied to data.

The first elimination round will be the write-ins. Ballots with a write-in for first choice will be redistributed to the other candidates according to what the voter put in second choice, if anything.

Then the third-place finisher – likely Nick Begich III – will be eliminated. His ballots will also be redistributed to the voter’s next choice.

That will yield the final result. If Sarah Palin gains enough second-choice votes to overtake Mary Peltola’s lead, she’ll win. If not, Peltola will.

The three candidates are scheduled to meet later today, at 3 p.m., for an in-person candidate forum in downtown Anchorage hosted by the Alaska Oil and Gas Association. It is slated to end 15 minutes before the Division of Elections’ livestream begins.

Check back for updates.

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Liz Ruskin is the Washington, D.C., correspondent at Alaska Public Media. Reach her at Read more about Liz here.

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