From Kyle Hopkins in Anchorage --
Look for the needle to move on the U.S. Senate race this week, with the Division of Elections planning to tally more than half of the uncounted ballots by Wednesday night.
With Sen. Ted Stevens leading Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich by about 3,000 votes, the ballots that remain to be counted include:
- 60,900 absentee votes.
- More than 20,000 questioned ballots.
- 9,500 early votes.
Of those, more than 42,000 of the absentee votes and about 9,300 of the early votes are expected to be counted Wednesday, said division director Gail Fenumiai.
Election workers began poring over questioned ballots today in Anchorage, a process that will likely continue through the final count, which is expected Nov. 19.
Here's an announcement today from the Division:
The Director of the Division of Elections, Gail Fenumiai, announced today that the Division of Elections has completed a large portion of the review of absentee and early voters' names against the registry of those voting at the polls on Election Day and will be ready to count a substantial number of outstanding ballots on Wednesday, November 12th.
The division did not count any absentee ballots election night because of the need to cross-check the names of absentee and early voters against the precinct registers to ensure the principal of one-person, one-vote.
To date, the division has over 70,000 outstanding absentee and early votes to count statewide. By law, the division has until November 19th to review and count these ballots. With the review of a large portion of these outstanding ballots being complete, the division feels it is in the best interest of the public, political parties and candidates to count ballots early.
The ballots being counted on Wednesday, November 12, will include the outstanding absentee and early ballots received through November 4th in those districts where the voter history has been done and the cross-checking of names done. The division anticipates that approximately 50,000 ballots statewide will be counted on November 12th.