This story originally published in the Peninsula Clarion.
Peninsula voter turnout for this week’s midterm elections saw a major increase from August’s primary elections and a sharp decrease from other elections in years past, according to the Alaska Division of Elections.
This week, 42.9 percent of registered voters in District, 29, 30 and 31, which cover central, southern and northern peninsula communities, came out to the polls, which is slightly above the state turnout at 41.5 percent. In August’s primaries, 25 percent of registered voters in District 29, 30, and 31 came out to vote.
During the 2016 general election, 65.2 percent of peninsula voters came out to the polls, and in the 2014 general election, 58.9 percent of area voters cast a ballot.
The peninsula opted for more Republican candidates than Democrat or independent, following state trends.
Republican Sen. Peter Micciche will serve another term as a state senator representing central and northern peninsula communities. He took 58.7 percent of the total District 29 and 30 votes, while write-in candidates took 30.6 percent of the vote.
In District 29, Micciche held just over 60 percent of the vote, and in District 30, Micciche held 57.3 percent of the vote.
In District 29, which encompasses the northern peninsula and includes areas in Nikiski, Hope, Seward, Cooper Landing, Funny River and Sterling, 68.9 percent of voters cast a ballot for Mike Dunleavy, and only 26.2 percent voted for Mark Begich.
In District 30, which includes the Kenai and Soldotna areas, 68.5 percent of voters chose Dunleavy as their new governor, with only 26.3 percent choosing Begich.
In District 31, the southern peninsula, only 55.7 percent voted for Dunleavy and 38.9 percent against Mark Begich.
In total, 64.3 percent of peninsula voters cast a ballot for Dunleavy, and 30.4 percent for Begich. A total of 2 percent of voters opted for Libertarian candidate Billy Toien or Gov. Bill Walker, despite his campaign suspension.
Alaska Ballot Measure 1
In District 29, 24.1 percent of voters supported the ballot initiative, and 72.8 percent opposed the Stand for Salmon campaign.
In District 30, 74 percent of voters opposed, and 22.7 percent supported the measure.
In District 31, 57.3 percent of voters opposed, with 39.2 percent supporting the measure.
In total on the peninsula, 68 percent of voters said “No” on Ballot Measure 1, and 28.6 percent said “Yes.”
The U.S. House of Representatives
Congressman Don Young was favored in all peninsula districts, taking 62.6 percent of the vote in total. Democratic nominee Alyse Galvin made up 35.3 percent of the peninsula vote.
In District 29, 66.8 percent of voters chose incumbent Young; 31.1 percent chose Galvin.
In District 30, Young took 66.9 percent of the vote, while Galvin took 30.9 percent.
In District 31, Young took 54.3 percent of the vote, while Galvin took 44 percent.
Superior Court Judge Michael D. Corey
Anchorage Superior Court Judge Michael D. Corey was ousted by 9,269 votes Tuesday. In September, the judge approved a no-jail plea deal in a case where Anchorage man Justin Schneider choked an Alaska Native woman until she became unconscious, then masturbated on her. Outrage from across the state and nation encouraged voters to vote him off the bench, despite the Alaska Judicial Council recommending his retention.
On the peninsula, 45.7 percent of voters removed Judge Corey, while 36.2 percent of voters sought his retention.
In District 29, 47.9 percent of voters ousted Judge Corey, while 35.8 voted for his retention.
In District 30, 45.2 percent of voters voted him off the bench, and 37.4 voted for him to hold his position.
In District 31, 44 percent of voters voted him out, and 35.6 percent voted for him to stay in his current seat.