Alaska’s new ranked choice voting system will be put to the test today in the special election to replace the late GOP Rep. Don Young.
The race features two Republicans, former Gov. Sarah Palin and Nick Begich III, and former Democratic state Rep. Mary Peltola. There are also multiple write-in candidates, including Republican Tara Sweeney, who finished fifth in the June primary and launched a last-ditch write-in campaign on Friday.
Under the new system, which will also be used in November, voters rank the candidates, and a write-in candidate if they choose to do so, in order of preference. If a candidate wins a majority of votes on the first round, he or she wins the race.
But if no candidate receives a majority of the vote, the candidate with the lowest number of votes is eliminated, and his or her supporters’ second-choice votes will go to the remaining candidates. The rounds continue until two candidates are left, and the candidate with the most votes wins.
And it could be a while before we know the results. Alaska officials won’t start the ranked choice voting rounds until 15 days after Election Day, on Aug. 31 (when absentee ballots from overseas are due).
Elsewhere on the campaign trail…
Arizona Senate: The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee launched its first general election ad campaign against Republican Blake Masters. The new TV ad highlights Masters’ comments that Social Security should be privatized.
Kentucky Senate: Democrat Charles Booker is up with a new ad where he makes the sale to “Democrats, Republicans and independents.”
New Hampshire Senate: Former Brigadier Gen. Don Bolduc holds a big lead in the new Saint Anselm College poll of the GOP primary with support from 32% of registered Republicans, while state Sen. Chuck Morse gets 16%.
Texas governor: Republican Gov. Greg Abbott booked $4.1 million on TV ads from mid-August through early September, per AdImpact. His campaign launched a new ad Tuesday, narrated by Abbott’s wife.
Michigan's 3rd District: Democrat Hillary Scholten launched her first TV ad Tuesday in her race against Republican John Gibbs, who beat GOP Rep. Peter Meijer in a primary earlier this month.
New York's 10th District: Democrats Dan Goldman and Rep. Mondaire Jones both booked at least $400,000 in television ads over the next week, per AdImpact.
New York's 12th District: Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is endorsing Democratic Rep. Jerry Nadler in his crowded primary, the New York Times reports.