Democrat Mary Peltola wins special election over Sarah Palin
After defeating Republican Nick Begich and former Gov. Sarah Palin in a special election, NBC News predicts that Democratic state representative Mary Peltola will become the first Native American to represent Alaska in Congress.
As the current executive director of the Kuskokwim River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, Peltola served for ten years in the Alaskan legislature and ran for office as “Alaska’s best shot at keeping an extremist from winning.”
On June 26, out of a total of 48 candidates, she came in fourth place in the nonpartisan primary election to determine who would advance to the August 16 special election ballot. Nonetheless, Peltola was in the lead as of Wednesday’s final tally.
Following a ballot initiative in 2020, the state finally put ranked-choice voting to the test in the recent special election. In November, the identical procedure will be used.
After Young’s death in March at the age of 88, voters decided who would serve out the remaining four months of his tenure. The results are now in, more than two weeks after voting began.
The new system, in which voters ranked the candidates in order of preference, resulted in runoff elections because no candidate received more than 50% of the vote on August 16.
With the ranked-choice voting method, the candidate who receives the fewest votes is eliminated and those votes are redistributed to the remaining candidates in order of the voters’ preferred order. It goes to a second round if there are still two candidates left, and the one with the most votes at the end of that round is declared the winner.
On Wednesday, the last day that election officials could accept absentee ballots, the elimination process for the extraordinary election began.
In addition to Begich and Peltola, Palin and Peltola will be vying for reelection in November. During the primaries, these three candidates received the greatest support from voters. Independent Al Gross, the fourth person to qualify, withdrew from the race.