Unofficial results are in from yesterday’s Primary Election. And although voter turnout was low in Nome and the Bering Strait Region, voters may have unseated one incumbent candidate.
According to unofficial election results, it is too close to call the race between Neal Foster of Nome and Tyler Ivanoff of Shishmaref. Foster, the incumbent, has a roughly 70 vote lead on Ivanoff, the Democratic challenger, with 79% of the precincts reported. As of 1am this morning, 1,500 votes had been counted and 792 of them went to Rep. Foster while 720 went to Ivanoff.
Dan Holmes of Nome ran unopposed as a Republican in the House District 39 race and has received 408 votes thus far.
With 75% of precincts reporting, Thomas Baker of Kotzebue has a 20% lead over Calvin Moto II of Deering, in the Republican race for Senate District T. As of 1am this morning, Baker had 446 total votes while Moto had 286. Donny Olson of Golovin, the incumbent, ran unopposed in yesterday’s primary.
In Western Alaska, voter turnout was low and, in some places, non-existent.
UPDATE: Some communities, that had not reported prior issues or COVID-19 concerns with operating their local polling places, did not show any results on the Division of Elections’ website this morning. However, the Division confirmed with KNOM that they have now received unofficial election results from Gambell, Golovin, Savoonga, and St. Michael who all did allow in-person voting yesterday.
Nome had roughly 27% of its registered voters participate in this month’s primary election.
Alaska Public Media reported that there are still thousands of absentee ballots to be officially counted before the election results can be certified. Their report also indicates Republican incumbents across the state are currently losing their races to newcomers.
Here’s candidate Roger Holland, who was beating Senate President Cathy Giessel by more than 1,000 votes at one point, speaking with Alaska Public Media last night.
“It just seemed like the voters were not being heard, the voters were being told. And I think that is just repeated in district, by district by district. And I think the powers in Juneau are paying the bill tonight.”– Roger Holland
A common thread running through these races is that the incumbents had voted to pay out permanent fund dividends at less than the amounts set under the formula in a 1982 state law. The last time the state paid the full dividend was five years ago.
Yesterday’s primary also set the candidates for the elections of the U.S. Senate and House. U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan didn’t have a challenger. Independent Al Gross won the Democratic primary to face Sullivan over Edgar Blatchford and Chris Cumings.
Rep. Don Young defeated two challengers for the Republican nomination, John Nelson and Gerald Heikes. He will face independent Alyse Galvin in a rematch. Galvin won the Democratic nomination yesterday over Bill Hibler and Ray Sean Tugatuk.
Correction: This article previously stated that the communities of Gambell, Golovin, Savoonga, and St. Michael did not hold in-person voting during yesterday’s Primary Election. This is incorrect. The Division of Elections listed those communities as having zero votes cast because they did not have updated information from those communities yet. The article has now been corrected to reflect the newest information. KNOM regrets the mistake and apologizes for the confusion.
Image at top: “I Voted” stickers at the polls in Nome, August 19th 2014. Photo: Matthew F. Smith, KNOM file.