Voters largely skip municipal polls

Alaska, News, Print

This story originally published in the Peninsula Clarion.

Less than a quarter of registered voters cast their ballot for this year’s municipal election.

The voter turnout this year was 18.03%, Borough Clerk Johni Blankenship told the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly at their Tuesday meeting.

While this year’s turnout wasn’t far off from last year’s, which saw 18.7% of registered voters vote, this year’s turnout is the lowest in more than five years. In 2012, the turnout was just over 13%.

In 2017, during a mayoral election, the turnout was nearly doubled at 33.6%.

This year, seven out of 29 precincts had a voter turnout of 20% or higher, Blankenship said. Four of the precincts were in the cities and the other three were in vote-by-mail precincts.

During last year’s general election in November, 54.6% of registered voters in District, 29, 30 and 31 — which cover central, southern and northern peninsula communities — came out to the polls, according to official results from the Alaska Division of Elections. The official state turnout was 49.84%.

In last year’s August primary election, 25% of registered voters in District 29, 30, and 31 came out to vote.

During the 2016 general election, 65.2% of peninsula voters came out to the polls, and in the 2014 general election, 58.9% of area voters cast a ballot.

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