Tom Begich, brother of the candidate, explains the current situation up in Alaska:
There are about 60,000 votes out. Of those there are 9500 known Early Votes, 5700 questioned with as many as another 8000 or more questioned ballots (similar to Provisional ballots in some states – in Anchorage these are often teachers and those who work far enough away from their homes, but near a polling place), and 46,000 or so absentee ballots of a substantial number are not mail in but are early vote absentee.
Based on these things, we believe it is possible (I think probably a good 50/50 chance) to win and so Mark has not conceded. We won about 59% of the early voting absentees. Generally have done well with Anchorage Mail in absentees (won a Mayor’s race on them) and are likely to do less well in the out of Anchorage absentees. We solidly won rural Alaska, Fairbanks and Southeast and expect to do well with their absentees, though not with Mat-Su, Roads and Kenai.
We also have seen some precinct anomalies that have to be addressed (one precinct shows hardly any votes for Mark and Ted, but large numbers of votes for the two independents – likely a machine calibration error). Given all of this, and many of you know that I crunch numbers all the time, I believe we might still win, but won’t know until around the 17th at the earliest.
In a follow-up email, he ads:
This just in from Mark. On our three military bases we won. This has big ramifications for the absentee vote. Here are the numbers:
Ft. Wainwright (Fairbanks): 270 Begich 184 Stevens
Elmendorf AFB (Anchorage): 723 Begich 461 Stevens
Ft. Richardson (Anchorage: 235 Begich 137 Stevens
So another long wait for the will of the voters to be decided as, in another race in which every vote have outsized importance.
I know Tom — a solid guy, not to mention a talented singer-songwriter (though that’s not his bread & butter job). During Mark’s two mayoral races, I used to run into Tom at Side Street Espresso & get encouraging news about the campaigns, which ended up proving out. Based on this, I’d say there’s still a good chance then that Mark will still beat out Stevens.
Here’s hoping. Go Mark!