As the final numbers were tallied this evening, Democratic Senate candidate Mark Begich pulled ahead of convicted felon and frontrunner, Republican incumbent Ted Stevens by 814 votes!
The word is that the Division of Elections decided not to keep releasing new numbers as they became available throughout the day, to save people’s nerves. It didn’t work. The lack of information between 3:30 and when the final numbers came in at 8:30, was nerve-wracking to say the least.
Alaska bloggers, journalists, and campaign workers have been chewing their nails down to the stubs. My activities for the evening consisted of pacing around and hitting ‘refresh’ every 30 seconds. There are a LOT of 30 second intervals between 3:30 and 8:30.
Tens of thousands of votes have yet to be counted before the vote is certified. But this batch gives us a clear indication of a trend. Begich increased his numbers by a relative 4000+ votes, and took traditionally conservative districts in Anchorage’s affluent “Hillside” area.
As we move forward, Alaska’s “reddest” areas have already been counted. Those outstanding districts are mainly rural and tend to go Democratic. Friday will see more than 20,000 “question ballots” (provisional ballots) counted, and the remaining absentee ballots are slated to be counted Monday.
So nothing is final yet, but the news is definitely good.