April 10, 2020 - Alaska Party-Run Primary (All Mail)

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19 Delegates (15 Pledged)
:  Biden won Alaska's first-ever presidential primary.  The party-run primary used ranked choice voting.  Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the party cancelled in-person voting scheduled for April 4 and shifted to an all-mail system with an April 10 deadline.

ALASKA PRIMARY (15 pledged delegates)

Official Results - Ranked Choice Voting | Ballot [PDF]
Round 8 

Round 1

This was the first time Alaska Democrats have used a presidential primary.  In 2016 Sanders won the caucuses by a wide margin.  The 2020 primary, which was conducted using ranked choice voting, drew almost twice as many people and resulted in a win for Biden.

In March the Alaska Democratic Party mailed out ballots to 71,106 people who were registered Democrats as of February 18; the process was to culminate in in-person voting at 29 locations around the state on April 4.  On March 23 the party announced cancellation of in-person voting, and a shift to all-mail voting.  Registered Democrats could now download ballots from the state party website and the deadline for return was April 10. 


Alaska Democratic Party
April 11, 2020

Alaska Democratic Party Releases Results of First-Ever Presidential Primary

ANCHORAGE, AK - After several systemic changes in process due to the ongoing threat of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Alaska Democratic Party has concluded and released the results of their first-ever party-run primary. The primary utilized a ranked choice ballot, allowing voters to choose their top five candidates in order of preference.

Candidates who have suspended their campaigns but requested that their votes still be tabulated are reflected in the results below. Candidates who have asked that their votes not be tabulated are not reflected in the results.

If a candidate failed to reach 15% of overall voter support during the first round of tabulation, their votes were rolled over to the voter's second choice. This process was repeated until the vote landed with a viable candidate, or until the ballot was exhausted.

A total of 19,759 votes were cast.

The final tabulation is as follows:

Joe Biden: 55.3% 
10,834 votes, with 9 delegates

Bernie Sanders: 44.7%
8,755  votes with 8 delegates

"Our goal in converting our system from the caucuses of past presidential elections to a party-run primary was to enfranchise as many Alaska Democrats as possible, particularly in rural communities with limited or no access to caucus locations," said Casey Steinau, Chair. "Our voter turnout by mail is just about twice what our caucus turnout was in 2016 which shows that vote by mail works. We are very pleased with the implementation and success of the process, and hope we can serve as an example of how this can be done right, and done across the nation."

"Last week we witnessed the horrible sight of Wisconsin voters forced to stand in long lines, risking their health to cast their votes because Democratic efforts to cancel in-person voting were stymied by Republicans. We are proud that holding a party-run primary allowed us to make decisions as events unfolded and shift to all vote by mail while maintaining the health and safety of our team," said Lindsay Kavanaugh, Executive Director. "We extended our deadline, and implemented the use of a downloadable ballot to give Alaska Democrats as much opportunity as possible to cast their votes under very difficult circumstances. I'd also like to thank our Party-run Primary Director, Louis “Wigi” Tozzi, for his leadership, vision, and dedication to making the primary plan become reality."

The second stage of the nominating process will be in the form of virtual caucuses held on April 18 by each of Alaska's 40 House Districts. The Alaska Democratic Party's Statewide Convention, originally scheduled to be held in Fairbanks on May 15-16, will also be conducted online, with details of that event still ongoing.

Delegate selection and primary information and results  [link]

Apportionment of delegates

9 District
5 - Biden
4 - Sanders 

1 - Biden
1 - Sanders

1 - Biden
1 - Sanders 

4 At Large
2 - Biden 
2 - Sanders

Apportionment of delegates was based on the results of the Party Run Primary. Although Senator Sanders suspended his campaign, he requested to remain on the ballot as a candidate, as did Rep. Gabbard and Senator Warren. Therefore, delegates were allocated in proportion to Alaska voters' preference and in accordance with our AK Delegate Selection Plan and Rule 11.C of the DNC Rules & Bylaws for the 2020 National Convention. 

*At-large and pledged party leader and elected official (“PLEO”) delegates and alternates are allocated based on the statewide results of the primary or caucus to each preference (presidential candidate or uncommitted) that meets the 15% threshold based on the statewide results. [Rule 11.C]


April 11 updates from Jeanne Devon:

The final count of ballots received by the cutoff of April 10, was 19,813.

This is almost double our total number of caucus-goers in 2016.


April 6 update from Jeanne Devon:

Update on Alaska Presidential Primary

71,106 ballots were mailed out in March to those who were registered Democrats by February 18. 

We have received approximately 16,300 returned ballots as of Sunday, April 5.  

We will be counting all ballots (original official ballots, and downloadable ballots) received to our post office box in Anchorage by mail delivery time (approximately 12:30pm) on April 10. 

There is no way to determine how many downloadable ballots have been printed, but the page that hosts the download link has been accessed 15,700 times. 

We will be tabulating results on a ranked choice ballot for the following candidates: Sanders, Biden, Warren, Gabbard, and undeclared. This reflects candidates with active campaigns, and those who have suspended their campaigns but asked to be included in the tabulation. 

We will finish processing ballots on April 10, and will have the final tabulation completed on April 11. 

We will release the results as soon as they are final on April 11, before 11:59pm. No results will be available on April 10.

Results will be reported via press release, and posted on our website.   www.alaskademocrats.org



March 23, 2020
Alaska Democratic Party Announces Changes to Presidential Primary Amid Coronavirus Spread

In-person Voting is Canceled; Ability to Vote by Mail Expanded

ANCHORAGE, ALASKA – In an attempt to help curb potential community spread of the COVID-19 virus, the Alaska Democratic Party today announced changes to the organization and execution of their party-run presidential primary. 

·     All in-person voting across the state originally scheduled for April 4 has been canceled in favor of a more extensive vote-by-mail process approved unanimously by the Alaska Democratic Party Executive Committee. The Democratic National Committee (DNC) has been notified of the changes.

·     The vote by mail deadline has been extended from the original date of March 24. Ballots must now be received in Anchorage no later than April 10 to be counted. 

·     Detailed instructions, a downloadable ranked-choice ballot, and voter registration forms will be available on the Alaska Democratic Party website by 5pm on Monday, March 23. [link]

A final tabulation of the primary results will be released as soon as possible once all ballots are received on April 10th, but no later than April 11, 2020 at 11:59 PM. Because of the nature of statewide, ranked-choice tabulation, running totals will not be available as ballots are counted. One final result will be released by the ADP upon completion of the full tabulation of all votes from across the state. Results will be posted on the website after tabulation.

“The Alaska Democratic Party has already mailed ballots to over 71,000 registered Democrats across the state, seven times the number of people that participated in the 2016 caucuses. We want to continue to allow for maximum participation in this historic primary while respecting the health and safety of our voters and volunteers,” said Lindsay Kavanaugh, Executive Director. “We appreciate the patience and solidarity of the community at this time, and are pleased to be extending the vote by mail program to ensure Alaskans’ voices are heard.”

“The use of downloadable ballots will give many Alaskans a final opportunity to register their presidential preference. It will accommodate those who unintentionally spoiled a ballot, did not make the deadline to request an absentee ballot, or who wish to register as a Democrat and cast their ballot past the original deadline date,” said Casey Steinau, ADP Chair. “Even in difficult times, we hold our responsibility seriously to allow as many Alaskans as possible the right to have a say in this election.”

The Alaska Democratic Party will continue to assess and evaluate potential changes in procedure for its House District Caucuses scheduled for April 18, and the State Democratic Convention scheduled for May 15-16 in Fairbanks. Please visit alaskademocrats.org for details on how to become a delegate to the State or National Convention.

Members of the press with questions may send inquiries to Jeanne Devon, Communications Director for the Alaska Democratic Party at info@alaskademocrats.org.


Delegate Selection Plan
April 18, 2020 - House District virtual organizational caucuses
May 15-17, 2020 - State Convention in Fairbanks May 16, 2020 - Virtual State Convention
Note: Alaska Democrats were initially allocated 14 pledged delegates; they received a 10% bonus for holding the primary in April, resulting in an additional at-large delegate.