It took from Election Day on November 8 until the eve of Thanksgiving for Alaska's election officials to finishing collecting and tabulating votes through the state's still-new ranked choice voting system as residents await to find out who will be sent to Washington, D.C. to represent them in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate.
At 4pm Alaska time, 8pm on the East Coast, the Alaska Department of Elections carried out its ranked choice tabulation, revealing results at last for the two national offices in which no candidate met the threshold to win outright and avoid the ranked choice process.
In the U.S. House race, a three-way contest that is a repeat of the special election for Alaska's lone House seat played out between incumbent Democrat Rep. Mary Pelotola, Trump-endorsed former Governor Sarah Palin, and Republican Party of Alaska-endorsed Nick Begich.
Begich was again eliminated through ranked choice voting, with his votes being redistributed to the remaining two candidates. As happened in the special general election, a significant number of voters' ballots were "exhasted" for the final round which handed Democrat incumbent Peltola reelection to her first full term with 136,893 votes to Palin's 112,255 votes.
In the contentious race for U.S. Senate, just incumbent Republican Lisa Murkowski and Trump-endorsed challenger Kelly Tshibaka remained. After all the votes were tallied, the incumbent Republican won with 135,972 votes to Tshibaka's 117,299 votes. As in the House race, a not-insignificant number of voters' ballots were "exhausted" by the deciding round and did not fully count in the final tally.
Murkowski said on Wednesday evening that she was "honored" that Alaska's voters had reelected her and said she looked forward to "continuing the important work ahead of us."
Thank you, Alaska. I am honored that Alaskans – of all regions, backgrounds and party affiliations – have once again granted me their confidence to continue working with them and on their behalf in the U.S. Senate. I look forward to continuing the important work ahead of us.— Lisa Murkowski (@LisaForSenate) November 24, 2022