By Brad Friedman on 11/10/2008, 4:27pm PT  

This just in from Alaska, where thousands of new ballots continue to be found each day, since it was first reported that turnout in 2008 was 11% lower than in 2004. Thousands of ballots, nearly a third of them, remain uncounted nearly a week after the election. Their numbers could explain the strange results so far in races --- such as those of the felonious Sen. Ted Stevens (R) and the under-investigation Rep. Don Young (R) --- for which pollsters had predicted decisive losses for the Republicans.

Even with the newly acknowledged ballots and even with Alaska's once-popular Gov. Sarah Palin and popular Sen. Barack Obama both on the Presidential ballot this year, turnout numbers still remain slightly below those from 2004. The Anchorage Daily News, with numbers somewhat out of date from those now posted below, called it all "puzzling" over the weekend, and pointed out much of what we've detailed here in previous posts.

The following updated numbers come from the DNC's Alaska Communications Director, Kay Brown late this afternoon [emphasis in the original]...

New totals for ballots were posted today at:

The Division of Elections reports there are now 90,635 ballots remaining to be counted. This means nearly 29 percent (28.8%) of the total vote has not been counted yet.

With these new numbers the total vote is at 314,268, with turnout at 63.3% (registered voters = 495,731).

The new ballots posted today include about 4,000 additional Questioned ballots about 5,600 additional Absentees.

The Division of Elections (DOE) plans to count the majority of early vote and absentee ballots that were verified by Election Day on Wednesday. The DOE Plans to count the remaining ballots on Friday (but this is all obviously subject to change). However, there could be enough ballots left after Wednesdays count for the race to still go either way.

All overseas ballots have to be received by Wednesday, November 19th and the DOE plans to certify the election on Tuesday, November 25. A recount, should one be necessary, would occur after that. An automatic recount is only implemented if the final votes are within 0.5 percent.

Total turnout in 2004 was 314,502 with these new ballots posted today we are still slightly under the number who voted in 2004. Turnout in the 2004 General was 66.6%, with 314,502 voting and 472,160 registered voters statewide.

Previously related...
11/9/08: "Alaska Stinks & Minnesota's on Edge, So Here's What Parties and Citizens Can Do to Try and Ensure Election Results with Integrity There and Elsewhere"

UPDATE 10/11/08: Shannyn Moore, from Anchorage, offers more on these numbers this morning, including details on the enormous rate of absentee ballots returned this year, versus 2004, which further increases the oddity of the lower-than-expected over-all turnout as compared to four years ago. Her latest update is now here...

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