Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenOvernight Energy: Trump says US will cut oil production to secure global deal | Green groups press Biden on climate plans after Sanders exit | EPA looks to suspend hazardous waste cleanups during outbreak Trump campaign, RNC reach 17 million voters with digital efforts Kyle Kulinski: What went wrong for the Sanders campaign MORE won Alaska’s primary after votes were tallied in a contest conducted entirely by mail because of the coronavirus.
The results of the primary were released by the Alaska Democratic Party at around 10:00 p.m., EST.
According to the statement from the party obtained by The Hill, the former vice president bested Sanders, garnering 55.3 percent support — 10,834 votes — and grabbing up nine delegates. Sanders came up behind him with 44.7 percent support — 8,755 votes — and snagged eight delegates after the final tally.
Votes had to be received by Friday to be counted. Alaska’s primary will allocate 15 pledged delegates and four unpledged delegates. The primary had been scheduled for April 4, but in-person voting was cancelled and it was switched to an all-mail contest because of the coronavirus outbreak.
The results come as Alaska saw a massive spike in ballots cast during its Democratic nominating contest this year. Alaska Democrats announced earlier Saturday that the number of ballots they received by the mail-in cutoff point was nearly double the amount of people who caucused in 2016.
The increase in mail-in ballots raises questions about the fate of the upcoming primaries, many that have been postponed due to the virus, and the general election.
Democratic lawmakers have proposed that all elections switch to vote-by-mail due to concerns over the coronavirus and social distancing measures that prohibit people gathering in large groups. Democrats have also advocated for the coming general election to be conducted in this fashion.
However, Republicans and President TrumpDonald John TrumpCalifornia governor praises Trump’s efforts to help state amid coronavirus crisis Trump threatens to withhold visas for countries that don’t quickly repatriate citizens Trump admin looks to cut farmworker pay to help industry during pandemic: report MORE have resisted the idea, arguing that the mail-in method opens the election up to dangers such as voting fraud.
Trump cast an absentee ballot this month in the Florida GOP primary.
Biden has already all but locked up the Democratic presidential nomination after Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersOvernight Energy: Trump says US will cut oil production to secure global deal | Green groups press Biden on climate plans after Sanders exit | EPA looks to suspend hazardous waste cleanups during outbreak Kyle Kulinski: What went wrong for the Sanders campaign The Hill’s Campaign Report: Debate over mail-in voting heats up MORE (I-Vt.), his lone remaining primary rival, dropped out of the race Wednesday.
“I cannot in good conscience continue to mount a campaign that cannot win and which would interfere with the important work required of all of us in this difficult hour,” Sanders said.
But Sanders, who won the Alaska primary in 2016, has said he will remain on upcoming ballots to rack up delegates and help influence the Democratic National Convention this summer.