Another day of counting has begun. What started on election day as a 3200 vote lead for convicTed Stevens, swung to an 814 vote lead for Democratic challenger Mark Begich on Monday when a huge stack of absentee and early ballots were counted.
Today is round two. Here’s what will be counted today.
• About 510 questioned ballots from Southeast, the Peninsula and Southwest Alaska
• About 5,180 absentee and questioned ballots from Mat-Su
• Questioned, absentee ballots from Richardson Highway and the Interior
• About 3,600 absentee and questioned ballots from Western and Northwest Alaska, and North Slope
To Be Counted on Monday
• Leftover absentee ballots from Richardson Highway and the Interior
To Be Counted on Tuesday
• About 15,700 questioned and absentee ballots from Anchorage
• About 8,300 absentee ballots from Southeast, Kenai Peninsula and Southwest Alaska
Begich made a big push for his supporters to vote early. Also, Republicans believe Stevens got a boost when he returned to Alaska from his trial less than a week before the election and began rallying supporters. People who voted earlier would not have been part of that lift.
Stevens’ supporters think he can come back as more absentee votes cast following his homecoming are counted. Still, the fact that the votes are coming from Begich majority districts leave the Democrats’ supporters quietly optimistic.
Yes, one can only imagine how many of those who were on the fence decided to align themselves with the convicted felon after his inspirational, and victorious homecoming from the trial.
On Monday, the Division of Elections released one batch of numbers during the day, and the final tally at about 8:30pm. It’s anyone’s guess how they’ll release the information today. Stay tuned.