Early voting for the August 16 primaries and special election to fill Alaska’s vacant congressional seat has begun. This means that for the first time Alaskans will use ranked choice voting and will vote in a nonpartisan top-four primary at the same time.
The special election is to fill the late Don Young’s seat in the US House for the remainder of the current term. RCV will be used to determine who is the preferred choice among a majority of voters in the three-person race between Democrat Mary Peltola and Republicans Sarah Palin and Nicholas Begich.
All three candidates are also in the primary election for the following two-year term, and are expected to advance to the November general election.
Primary elections are also underway for US Senate and the governor’s seat. US Sen. Lisa Murkowsky faces a tough challenge from Republican Kelly Tshibaka, and whether or not she keeps her seat may depend on how voters outside the GOP turnout in November.
Polling suggests that not only will voters rank the candidates on the ballot in the special election and the November general election, but RCV will likely prevent the least preferred candidate from getting elected in the US House and Senate races.
Voters approved ranked choice voting for general elections and the nation’s first top-four nonpartisan primary under the same ballot initiative in November 2020.
Read more about early voting in these Alaska elections here.