The State of Alaska is organized into 16 boroughs, which function similarly to counties in other states. The boroughs include three "unified municipalities"--Anchorage, Juneau and Sitka. There are 11 census areas in the state which have no borough government due to sparse population and are collectively known as the unorganized borough.
Judicial selection in Alaska follows the commission-selection, political appointment method, commonly referred to as "merit selection". Candidates are chosen by a nominating commission and, from those candidates, the Governor makes the final appointment. The judges must face retention elections at the end of each term.