Democrat Mary Peltola defeats Sarah Palin in Alaska's special US House election

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Former Alaska Republican Governor and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin was defeated by Democrat Mary Peltola in Alaska’s special election to fill the remainder of former Rep. Don Young’s term in Congress, who passed away earlier this year after serving for 49 years.

Her victory comes two weeks after voters went to the polls in the state’s first-ever ranked-choice election on Aug. 17.

Under the new system, if one candidate were to receive a majority of first-preference votes, that person would be declared the winner. If no candidate wins a majority of first-preference votes, the candidate with the fewest first-preference votes is eliminated and voters’ second-preference choices are tallied to establish a new total to determine whether a candidate in the race has received a majority of the vote. The process is repeated until one candidate wins a majority.

A top-four primary election for the seat was held on June 11, which ended with Palin, Republican Nick Begich, Peltola, and independent Al Gross advancing to the August special election. Gross withdrew from the race on June 20.

After the votes in the special general election were counted, Peltola received 36.8 percent of the vote to Palin’s 30.2 percent with Begich in third place. His votes went to the voters’ second option, giving Peltola 51.5 percent to Palin’s 48.5 percent.

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