Alaska Politics: Murkowski gains ground on Miller in Absentee Vote

From Sean Cockerham at the Alaska Division of Elections office in Anchorage —

Update, 12:20 p.m.:

Joe Miller’s lead over Lisa Murkowski just grew slighly with absentee and questioned ballots from the Mat-Su.

Miller now leads Mukowski by 1,460 votes.

The Division of Elections reported counting 2,895 votes from Legislative Districts 13 through 16 in the Mat-Su.

Update, 11:10 a.m.:
Joe Miller’s lead over Lisa Murkowski narrowed from 1,668 votes to 1,325 with the first count of absentee ballots this morning.

It looks like 2,391 votes were counted in this first batch. They’re from Districts 17 through 26, all Anchorage.

More numbers to come.

Original post, 10:47 a.m.:

Counting of absentee ballots has begun in the Alaska Republican Senate race, with first results expected later this morning.

The first results will be from the Anchorage area. Counting also began at the Mat-Su elections office at 10 a.m.

Fairbanks is to start counting at 1 p.m.

Challenger Joe Miller leads incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski by 1,688 votes after regular ballots were counted on Election Day last Tuesday.

About 15,000 ballots are supposed to be counted today, the bulk of them from voters who cast absentee ballots.

I’ll be updating through the day.

Read more:

via Alaska Politics Blog : Counting of absentee ballots begins |
AK-Sen: The Latest Count
The new tally:
Lisa Murkowski 48,106 49.25%
Joe Miller 49,566 50.75%

More updates as we get ’em.
4:29pm: The Anchorage Daily News reports that the latest batch of absentees came from the Mat-Su valley, specifically House Districts 13 through 16. Crunching the numbers myself, on election day, Murkowski won 38% of the vote in those districts. Among the absentees, she’s picking up nearly 48% of the vote — a much bigger improvement than among the Anchorage absentees, but she still has a long way to go.
4:12pm: A bunch more votes just came in — we’re now at 49,566 for Miller and 48,106 for Murkowski. Miller added 1,515 votes and Murkowski added 1,380.
3:55pm: Mike Memoli tweets that Alaska DoE officials are expecting to count ballots until 10pm Eastern tonight.
3:36pm: Crunching the numbers using Jeffmd’s spreadsheet, Murkowski won House Districts 17 through 26 on election day by 53% of the vote. She won 57% from this batch of absentees.
3:25pm: Good news for Jumbo Joe Miller:
It looks like 2,391 votes were counted in this first batch. They’re from Districts 17 through 26, all Anchorage.
As noted below, Murkowski was expected to run strongly here. Miller-friendly areas will report later today.
3:16pm: It’s not yet clear where this batch of votes came from, but ADN reported that the first batch of results was expected to come from the Anchorage area, where Murkowski ran strongly. More votes are expected from the Mat-Su and Fairbanks regions later today, which are more Miller-friendly.
3:10pm: We now have our first update (of several to come) today. Miller added 1,024 votes to his tally today, and Murkowski added 1,367.
via Swing State Project: AK-Sen: The Latest Count.

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