Thousands of absentee ballots hold key to many election races

Nov 4, 2020

Credit Shahla Farzan/KBBI

*UPDATED*

    As expected, election night came and went with the vast majority of races -- including House District 31 -- left in limbo, as the Alaska Division of Elections will wait a week before counting absentee ballots. 

   

    The only results reported from election night will be from in-person early voting and from ballots cast in precincts on election day. 

    According to preliminary figures from the Division of Elections there could be as many as 5,700 ballots still outstanding in District 31 alone.

    Preliminary results in District 31, as of 6 a.m. (Wed.), with 7 of 9 precincts reporting, first-term incumbent Republican Representative Sarah Vance has a sizable lead over Independent challenger Kelly Cooper, with 2,678 votes to 1,281, a 68-to-32-percent margin.

    Meanwhile, in Senate District P, long-time Republican incumbent Gary Stevens has a nearly 1,300-vote lead with 15 of 23 precincts reporting. Stevens has 3,667 votes to 2,394 votes for Alaskan Independence Party candidate Greg Madden.

    In other Kenai Peninsula districts, Republican incumbent Representative Ben Carpenter has a 2,453-to-847-vote lead over Independent challenger Paul Dale in Kenai House District 29, a 74-to-26-percent margin.

    Republican Ron Gillham has a two-to-one lead over James Baisden in the Soldotna House District 30 race, with 1,051-to-516 votes, with three of six precincts.

    In Kodiak House District 32, incumbent Republican Louise Stutes is running unopposed.

    Some reminders: These results are preliminary; Nearly 6,000 absentee ballots will be counted next week; and these results were up-to-date as of 6 a.m. (Wed.)