Tomorrow should be a decisive day in Alaska. A lot of votes are going to be counted, which means the Senate race between Mark Begich and the convicted felon, Ted Stevens, could be resolved. From the Anchorage Daily News:
For days, the count has been frozen. Sen. Ted Stevens leads Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich by about 3,000 votes with roughly 30 percent of the ballots remaining to be counted, including:
• 61,000 absentee votes.
• More than 20,000 questioned ballots.
• 9,500 early votes.
Of those, at least two-thirds of the absentee votes and nearly all the early votes are expected to be counted Wednesday, said Division Director Gail Fenumiai.
And, for the record, I have great respect for the Anchorage Daily News. That paper has been just a font of excellent information. (And, I love the breaking news alerts. Most are political, but over the summer, there were quite a few about grizzly bear attacks, some right in Anchorage.)
Remember, last week, Nate Silver wrote:
Although Ted Stevens currently holds a lead of approximately 3,200 votes in ballots counted to date in Alaska’s senate contest, there is good reason to believe that the ballots yet to be counted — the vast majority of which are early and absentee ballots — will allow Mark Begich to mitigate his disadvantage with Stevens and quite possibly pull ahead of him.
We’ll know a lot more tomorrow. There’s a lot wrapped up in this obviously. If Begich wins, we’ve got our 58th Democratic Senator. If Stevens wins, it will get messy. Harry Reid already said of Stevens, “he’s not going to be in the Senate.” The Senate will probably expel him. That could put Sarah Palin back in our lives again. Under Alaska’s constitution, she couldn’t appoint herself, but she could run for the vacated seat.