Alaska's Ballot Counting System

Ballot Counting Process


How are Ballots Counted at the Precinct?

  • Alaska is a paper-based ballot voting system. All voters vote a paper ballot. Alaska uses three voting methods at the precinct on Election Day:

Precinct Scanner – The precinct scanner is typically used in precincts with a larger number of voters. Voters insert their ballot into the scanner after voting. After the polls close, precinct officials end the election and the scanner tabulates the results and a results tape for the precinct is printed. The results are transmitted to the statewide database.



Hand Count – Ballots are hand counted in precincts with a smaller number of voters. Voters drop their ballots into a ballot box during the day. After the polls close, precinct officials hand count the ballots and record results on a summary sheet. The results are then called into their assigned regional elections office. The regional elections office then submits the tallies to the Director’s office and the results are entered into the statewide database.


Voting Tablet -– Each precinct in Alaska will have a voting tablet that produces a paper ballot. The voting tablet is intended for use by voters with a disability to allow them to vote unassisted such as voters who may be blind, have limited vision, mobility issues, difficulty reading, etc. They are also intended for voters in Section 203 precincts who require language assistance. Each voting tablet has either a laser printer that prints a ballot that is inserted into the precinct scanner or a Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) ballot printer. After the polls close, results are either transmitted to the statewide database or called into the regional elections office who submits the tallies to the Director’s office and the results are entered into the statewide database.


How are Absentee and Questioned Ballots Counted?

  • Early vote, absentee in-person, by-mail, electronic transmission and questioned ballots are centrally counted at the regional elections offices according to house district.

Ballot Counting Schedule


Polling Place Ballots

  • Ballots voted at the polling place on Election Day are counted, tallied and transmitted to the statewide database Election Night after the polls close.

Early Vote Ballots

  • Early vote ballots voted in regional elections offices through the Thursday prior to Election Day will be counted Election Night. Early vote ballots voted the Friday before Election Day through Election Day will be counted seven days after Election Day.

Absentee Ballots (By-Mail, By Electronic
Transmission, Absentee In-Person, Special Needs and
Federal Write-In Absentee Ballots)

  • Regional elections offices begin counting absentee ballots seven days after Election Day. All absentee ballots must be counted no later than 10 days after the date of the primary election and 15 days after the general election and all other state conducted elections.

Questioned Ballots

  • Regional elections offices begin counting questioned ballots seven days after Election Day. All questioned ballots must be counted no later than 10 days after the date of the primary election and 15 days after the general election and all other state conducted elections.