After Alaska election officials had more ballots counted on Friday, Sen. Lisa Murkowski now leads Kelly Tshibaka by a narrow margin.
According to the latest figures, Murkowski has a lead of 1,658 votes over Tshibaka. Murkowski holds 43.3 percent of total votes with 112,519 votes. Tshibaka has 42.7 percent and her 110,861 vote.
Buzz Kelley, the Republican candidate, has less than three per cent of the total vote. Pat Chesbro (the only Democrat candidate), has 10.4 percent. Tshibaka and Murkowski are not expected to cross the threshold of 50 percent, so Kelley’s 34,358 votes and Chesbros 10.4 percent will be distributed to the second-choice candidates in Alaska’s new ranked choice voting system.
In the August primary, all candidates representing all parties are on the ballot. The four highest vote-getters, regardless of party, advance to the general elections. Their voters have the chance to choose their top choice as well as their second or third choices. To see if anyone can cross the threshold of 50%, the second choices of the last place candidate are divided among the remaining candidates. If the majority vote-getter fails to emerge, a second round is held where votes from the third and fourth place candidates are distributed according to the second choices of the remaining two candidates.
Alaskan voters enacted the new voting system via a ballot measure in 2020. A recent video revealed that a Murkowski aide claimed that the ballot measure to establish ranked choice voting was being promoted by people who wanted Lisa to be reelected.
Alaska’s Division of Elections will tabulate the second and third-ranked choices of voters on November 23. Officials are aiming to certify the election’s results by November 29.
As Chesbro has 26,974 votes, Murkowski will likely benefit from it. She aligns herself with Alaska Democrats and voted for President Donald Trump to be impeached.