Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Begich overtakes Stevens in Alaska vote count

By Michael J.W. Stickings

(Updated here -- Begich's lead has grown since I posted this.)

Alaska started counting its roughly 90,000 absentee, early, and "questioned" ballots (or about 30 percent of the total votes cast) today -- you'll remember that something was stinking badly there -- and Democratic challenger Mark Begich, who was ahead in the polls but behind on election night, has overtaken Republican incumbent and convicted felon Ted Stevens.

Stevens had a lead of 3,353 with almost 210,000 votes counted before today. His lead was down to 971 earlier today, with 28,519 additional votes counted, but now Begich is up by 3 -- yes, three:

The elections division still has over 10,000 ballots left to count today and thousands more through next week, but the latest numbers show Mark Begich leading Sen. Ted Stevens 125,019 to 125,016.

The new numbers, reflecting nearly 43,000 absentee ballots counted today, are from all over the state.

If the trend holds, Begich should be able to expand his lead and win.

(Unfortunately, incumbent Republican Don Young, who's corrupt in that specially Stevensesque sort of way, is still well ahead in his House race against Democratic challenger Ethan Berkowitz.)

But let's not get ahead of ourselves, however much we may wish to bid good riddance to Stevens. There is still much more counting to do.

CNN has the updated results for the three Alaska votes -- President, Senate, House -- here. See also Alaska Elections here (with updated unofficial results here).

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