12 presidential candidates will appear on Alaska Democrats’ primary ballot

Alaska Democrats will have 12 options when they vote in their April 4 presidential primary, according to a roster released by party officials. Friday was the deadline for candidates to register for the state’s Democratic presidential primary.

The 12 candidates are former Vice President Joe Biden; Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders; Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren; South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg; Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar; businessman Andrew Yang; Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet; former Maryland Rep. John Delaney; former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg; Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, California billionaire Tom Steyer and former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick.

Whoever receives a majority of the delegate votes at the Democratic National Convention in July will become the party’s nominee. There are 4,750 delegate votes, with 3,979 chosen at the ballot box nationwide. Alaska has 19 delegate votes; 15 of those will be determined by the results of Alaska’s Democratic presidential primary.

This year’s Alaska presidential primary vote is open only to registered Democrats and will be a ranked-choice ballot instead of a caucus. That was how the Alaska Democratic Party ran the primary in 2016, when Sanders won by a landslide.

The party’s plan this year calls for it to conduct most of the election by mail. Ballots will be mailed to most registered Democrats and must be postmarked by March 24.

“We’re putting tremendous emphasis on people completing their ballot and mailing it in,” said Wigi Tozzi, the Alaska party’s presidential primary director.

“They’ll still have an opportunity if they miss that deadline to cast a ballot in person,” he said.


But Tozzi added that voters will only be able to turn in ballots from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at a limited number of locations.

“If you live in Dot Lake, you’re going to have to drive to Tok. We really want to encourage people to cast that ballot,” he said.

During the election, voters will rank up to five of the 12 Democratic presidential candidates in order of preference. Any candidate with less than 15% of the vote will be eliminated, and that candidate’s votes will go to the voters’ subsequent choice. Alaska’s pledged delegates’ votes will be distributed proportionally to the remaining candidates, after the eliminations.

The Iowa caucuses take place Feb. 3. Super Tuesday, which accounts for about 38 percent of the delegates to the Democratic National Convention, takes place March 3.

Alaska’s Democratic presidential primary will be the 34th to take place, with the state’s Democrats voting on the same day as those in Hawaii, Louisiana and Wyoming.

The Alaska Republican Party has canceled its presidential preference poll in order to support President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign.

James Brooks

James Brooks was a Juneau-based reporter for the ADN from 2018 to May 2022.