(KCAW/Berett Wilber 2020)

Polls will be open across Alaska and the nation in the 2022 General Election on Tuesday, November 8. But with more people than ever voting early and absentee, it’s unlikely that Alaskans will know who they’ll be sending to Juneau and Washington for a few days at least.

It took just over two weeks after the August 16 special election for Mary Peltola to be certified as Alaska’s newest representative in Congress, through 2022. During those two weeks, over 26,000 early and absentee votes were counted, and then the ranked-choice ballot process cemented Peltola’s victory.

Tuesday’s results could shake out similarly – early votes cast through the Thursday before election day will be counted on election night after 8 p.m. But it won’t be until two weeks after the election, on the 23rd, when the final count of regional absentee ballots will commence and ranked choice votes are tabulated.

The Nov. 8 ballot looks very similar to August’s primary ballot, with four candidates remaining in each statewide race. Republican US Senator Lisa Murkowski is hoping to retake her seat, vying for it alongside Republican Kelly Tshibaka, and Democrat Patricia Chesbro. (Note: Independent Buzz Kelley has dropped out of the race in September; any vote for him will not be counted).

Representative Peltola is competing for a full term against former Republican governor Sarah Palin, Republican Nick Begich, and Libertarian Chris Bye.

And for Alaska’s governor’s race, incumbent Republican governor Mike Dunleavy is running against former governor Bill Walker, an Independent, Democrat Les Gara, and Republican Charlie Pierce.

[LOCAL: Two candidates are vying for House District 2 seat, which is being vacated by Democrat Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins. The district represents Sitka, Petersburg and surrounding communities. Either Republican Kenny Karl Skaflestad of Hoonah or Independent Rebecca Himschoot, of Sitka, will take the seat, and be sworn in at the beginning of the next legislative session in January.

Sitka Republican Sen. Bert Stedman is also on the ballot, running for a fifth term representing Southeast communities from Sitka to Ketchikan in Senate District A. He’s being challenged by Republican Mike Sheldon of Petersburg, whom he handily defeated in the August primary. However, as Alaska’s ranked-choice voting system allows the top four vote-getters in a primary contest to advance to the general election, regardless of political party, Sheldon will get another chance to unseat the 19-year incumbent from Sitka.]

In addition to giving the thumbs up or down to Superior Court judges in each district, voters will also weigh in on whether or not there should be a constitutional convention, a question put out to Alaskans every decade.

In Sitka, polls are open at Harrigan Centennial Hall from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on November 8. Raven Radio will broadcast live election returns from NPR beginning at 4 p.m. on Tuesday. Statewide election coverage from Alaska Public Media will be heard from 9 to 11 p.m., following our coverage of the Sitka Assembly meeting which starts at 6.