Politics

Alaska congressional delegation calls for all votes to be counted

Alaska’s all-Republican congressional delegation on Wednesday preached for a fair election where all votes are counted, though they stopped short of directly criticizing President Donald Trump after he prematurely declared himself the victor of the 2020 presidential race as votes were still being counted.

Early Wednesday morning, the president made a statement at the White House where he falsely said, “Frankly, we did win this election.”

“We want all voting to stop,” Trump said. “We don’t want them to find any ballots at 4 o’clock in the morning and add them to the list. OK?”

Matt Shuckerow, Sen. Dan Sullivan’s campaign manager, said he’s not sure if Sullivan saw Trump’s comments, as they were made as Sullivan himself was seeking reelection. But he said Sullivan firmly believes that all votes should be counted.

“It’s critical to have confidence in our electoral system, and to have a transition of power, regardless of who wins, as we’ve had throughout our history,” Shuckerow said.

While voting ended when polls closed Tuesday night, some states — including Alaska — allow absentee ballots that arrive after Election Day to be counted as long as they were postmarked by Election Day. Trump implied early Wednesday morning that votes that had not been counted are going to be “found," and said he planned to take the matter to the U.S. Supreme Court. On Wednesday, his campaign filed lawsuits in three states, laying the groundwork for contesting voting results in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Georgia.

[Congress remains split between parties, with election boosting Republicans and disappointing Democrats]

With uncounted votes in several battleground states, the presidential election had not yet been determined as of 5 p.m. Wednesday.

Asked about the president’s statements, Rep. Don Young’s office said the congressman stands by the system. Young was also up for reelection on Nov. 3.

[Early Alaska results show GOP incumbents Sullivan, Young leading congressional races]

“Congressman Young remains committed to secure elections and the rule of law. He is confident that votes will be counted fairly and accurately,” said Young’s press secretary, Zack Brown. “America heads to the polls every four years to pick a president and peacefully transfer power; this year will be no different.”

Sen. Lisa Murkowski took to Twitter to weigh in.

“As we await all the results of the election, I urge everyone to be patient,” she said. “Each state has different deadlines to receive ballots and a process in place to count those ballots. In Alaska, for example, ballots post-marked by Election Day can be received up to ten days after, and the results from ballots cast shortly before Election Day will not be available until Friday.”

In fact, in Alaska, more than 123,000 ballots won’t begin to be counted until a week after Election Day. While some ballots could still come in by mail, the vast majority are in the possession of the Alaska Division of Elections.

“It is critical that we give election officials time to complete their jobs, and that we ensure all lawfully cast ballots are allowed and counted,” Murkowski said on Twitter. “The results will be known when all those ballots are counted.”

Shuckerow said each state has different rules for when ballots should be counted, which makes the nationwide electoral system more secure, as each state has different rules and regulations.

Shuckerow said a large number of the votes in Alaska that will be counted a week after election night come from people voting absentee, which is something the Sullivan campaign encouraged people to do.

“We intend for those votes to be counted, they will be counted,” Shuckerow said.

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