Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Alaska counting ballots

By Michael J.W. Stickings

"Something stinks in Alaska," I wrote last week. Well, we'll see how things stand after today. Here's the latest from the Anchorage Daily News:

Look for the needle to move on Alaska's landmark U.S. Senate race and other tight contests this week, with the Division of Elections planning to tally more than half of the uncounted ballots Wednesday.

For days, the count has been frozen. Sen. Ted Stevens leads Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich by about 3,000 votes with roughly 30 percent of the ballots remaining to be counted, including:

• 61,000 absentee votes.

• More than 20,000 questioned ballots.

• 9,500 early votes.

Of those, at least two-thirds of the absentee votes and nearly all the early votes are expected to be counted Wednesday, said Division Director Gail Fenumiai.

Election workers began poring over questioned ballots Monday in Anchorage, a process that will likely continue through the final count, which is expected Nov. 19.

Meantime, absentee votes are still arriving in the mail and precincts are sending in more questioned ballots.

Stay tuned. We'll be following this closely. (CNN has the full results here, but it may be useful to check Alaska Elections here, with results here, for updates.)

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