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Stevens Loses Re-Election Bid

Senator Ted Stevens, who looked to have narrowly won re-election to the Senate weeks after being convicted on felony corruption charges, has now apparently lost as absentee ballots are slowly counted.

Sen. Ted Stevens, the longest serving Republican in Senate history, narrowly lost his re-election bid Tuesday, marking the downfall of a Washington political power and Alaska icon who couldn’t survive a conviction on federal corruption charges. His defeat by Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich moves Senate Democrats within two seats of a filibuster-proof 60-vote majority.

[…]

Tuesday’s tally of just over 24,000 absentee and other ballots gave Begich 146,286, or 47.56 percent, to 143,912, or 46.76 percent, for Stevens.

A recount is possible.

Interestingly, I’m not seeing any cries of Foul, as has been the case in Minnesota, where new votes for Al Franken seem to be discovered on an hourly basis.

What I haven’t seen in any of the reports is an explanation for why the absentee and “other” ballots are so radically different than those cast on election day.  It’s especially odd to me that they’re trending much more against Stevens given that some substantial number of them were cast before his conviction.  Is there some reason that Alaska’s Democratic minority votes absentee at a greter rate?

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About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He earned a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. Alex Knapp says:

    Democratic voters in general vote absentee at a greater rate, but I don’t know about Alaska specifically.

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  2. Dantheman says:

    I would add that a section of the Democratic base (which does not include me) believes that voting early with a paper trail is better than voting on election day with a touch-screen procedure, arguing that there is less chance for the election to be decided in the board room of Diebold.

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  3. Bithead says:

    Interestingly, I’m not seeing any cries of Foul, as has been the case in Minnesota, where new votes for Al Franken seem to be discovered on an hourly basis.

    I would attribute that to a lesser Democrat party orginization in Alaska, than there is in Minnisota. That said, trust me, if Franken wasn’t close enough to make a court case,, all those lawyers he’s got tied up there would be in Alaska before the next snowflake fell.

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  4. […] at OTB is saying: Senator Ted Stevens, who looked to have narrowly won re-election to the Senate weeks […]

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  5. Alex Knapp says:

    It’s the Republic Party crying foul in Minnesota, Bithead, not the Democratic Party.

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  6. Will says:

    One reason may be that voters that are currently out-of-state have a keener idea of what an embarassment Ted Stevens is to the state. Distance adding objectivity and all that.

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  7. fester says:

    James as to why absentee ballots are more heavily skewed Dem then Election day ballots — 3 words — Obama field organizing.

    One of the big pushes from the Obama campaign (and since it was a massively distributed campaign, it hit non-swing states as well) was to get infrequent and pain in the ass but highly probable Democratic voters to vote as early as possible in the process. Traditionally the GOP breaks even or dominates the early voting/absentee process but the combination of a very energized Obama based that was partially reliant upon infrequent/PITA voters voting early and an ineffective McCain field organization probably supports most of the early vote/absentee vote skew.

    Now onto the question of the ‘Other Ballots’ most of those are provisional ballots. They also skewed heavy Dem, and that is more traditional. Provisional ballots are disproportionally used by young, first time, urban, non-white and poorer than typical voters. These groups are more likely to have ID problems or are unfamiliar with the process and more likely to make minor technical mistakes that lead them to the provisional route. All of those demographics skewed Democratic this cycle, and Begich benefitted from those votes as well once Alaska certified that X number of provisionals should be counted as valid ballots.

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  8. Drew says:

    Vote legitimacy aside…………out damned spot….

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  9. Floyd says:

    FOUL!!!

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  10. Barry says:

    “Interestingly, I’m not seeing any cries of Foul, as has been the case in Minnesota, where new votes for Al Franken seem to be discovered on an hourly basis.”

    You’ve never audited the results of a mechanical scanning of data before, James? I’ve dealt with it, in two different systems. It’s not surprising that there’d be errors discovered.

    OTOH, here’s hoping that you have eight years to complain :)

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  11. tom p says:

    Senator Ted Stevens, who looked to have narrowly won re-election to the Senate weeks after being convicted on felony corruption charges, has now apparently lost as absentee ballots are slowly counted.

    And Ted conceded??? Ted Stevens conceded?????

    Interestingly, I’m not seeing any cries of Foul,

    Simple on that one James… He lost, and even he knows it.

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