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 – Precinct scanners are typically in urban areas of the state with a larger number of voters. After voting, voters insert their ballot into the scanner. The scanner is attached to a ballot box throughout the day. When the polls close, the precinct officials end the election, the scanner tabulates the results and a results tape for the precinct is printed. The results are transmitted to the Director’s Office. There are 306 ImageCast precincts in Alaska.



Hand Count – Hand-count precincts are typically in rural areas of the state where precincts have a small number of voters. After voting, voters drop their ballot into a ballot box throughout the day. After the polls close, the precinct officials’ hand-count the ballots and record results on a summary sheet. The results are called into their assigned regional elections office. The regional elections office then submits the tallies to the Director’s Office. There are 135 hand-count precincts in Alaska.


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 for use by voters in Section 203 precincts who require language assistance. Each voting tablet has either a laser printer that prints a ballot that the voter inserts into the precinct scanner or a Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) ballot printer. After the polls close, results are transmitted to the Director’s Office or called into the regional elections office who submits the results to the Director’s Office.


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.