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Since a number of Alaskans are confused about this year’s primary, I suspect most of you are as well. Here’s a little clarification:
- This is an open primary which means political parties have nothing to do with it. Everyone who paid money to be on the ballot is on the same ballot. The top four vote-getters (regardless of political affiliation) will move on to the general election in November. There were ten choices for Governor, perhaps just as many for senate. The congressional seat was also included in this open primary format and the top four candidates (including Sarah Palin) will be going at it again in November. So Lisa Murkowski winning tonight doesn’t mean she’s the Republican nominee, it just means she gets to move on along with the other Republican nominee(s).
- There was also a separate “special” election on the other side of the ballot to temporarily replace Don Young’s vacant House seat. The winner of this will be a House member for three months until the general election decides the permanent replacement. Don’t ask me why they did it this way; it’s stupid…and expensive, just like everything the suits in Juneau do.
- The “special” election – that is to say, “special” like the guy nobody wants to get into a conversation with on the bus- is ranked choice. That means that if nobody gets a majority of the votes, the machines get to do some algebra to decide a winner based on people’s second, third, and fourth votes. It’s a system designed for fraud and there are some very overpriced nerds probably programming in that result as we speak.