Live blogging: Election Day - Must Read Alaska
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Saturday, October 23, 2021
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Live blogging: Election Day

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Must Read Alaska is “live blogging” today — all day until about 11 pm. That means updates will be at the top of this story with a time stamp.

Send your Election Day experience stories — good or bad — to [email protected] and I will keep your name private if I use a story that is critical of the process. Join Must Read Alaska at the Aviator Hotel starting at 6 pm for our Election Central livestream with Amy Demboski, and follow my updates here:

10:51 pm:

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9:58 pm

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9:45: 

9:35 pm:

 

Mike Dunleavy interviewed by Liz Raines of KTVA, with the photographer straining to get both of them in the picture.

8:55: In Ketchikan Precinct 3, Mead Treadwell and Mike Dunleavy are about even: 62 for Treadwell, 63 for Dunleavy.

In the lieutenant governor’s race, Ketchikan Precinct 3 gave it to Kevin Meyer with 54 votes.

8:45 pm: This is a precinct tape of interest to Ketchikan:

8 pm: The polls are now closed. I can reveal the Dittman Research prediction that he sent to me this afternoon:

7:50 pm: About 50 people now down here at the Aviator Hotel, as we wait for the polls to close and the results, which we expect to roll in at about 8:40 p.m.

6 pm: The rain finally found Juneau and the Dunleavy crew was ready this evening for the rush hour traffic at the corner of the Douglas Bridge and Egan Drive. Here they are packing up and heading home to dry off and watch the results come in.

POWER OUTAGE UPDATE

5:55 pm: Chugach Electric crews plan to reconnect approximately 1,100 consumers affected by the outage within the next couple hours. The remaining 350 to 400 consumers will be out for another 4 to 8 hours while replacing the pole. Crews are hoping to have the pole fixed and everyone restored by midnight.

5:36 pm: I went by the Dunleavy for Governor office on Northern Lights Blvd, and found Mike Dunleavy making phone calls along with the late-afternoon crew. They made 2,000 phone calls in the past 24 hours and did 11,000 peer-to-peer text messages to remind people to vote. Here is what the scene looked like:

POWER OUT IN SOUTH ANCHORAGE

5 pm: A slice of District 26 and most of 28 are impacted by a major outage affected 1,400 homes in that area. Chugach Electric is are replacing a snapped pole and it will be more than 12 hours before power is restored. Restaurants in South Anchorage will be jammed, so why not head down to the Aviator Hotel in downtown Anchorage and join us at Election Central.

District 28 is historically the highest turnout district in the state. The outage impacts the Huffman, DeArmoun, and O’Malley areas.

District 26 race that will be impacted somewhat is the race between Al Fogle, Joe Riggs and Laddie Shaw.

District 28 is the race between Republicans Jennifer Johnston and Ross Bieling.

The voting machines at the precincts impacted may have to be counted at Gambell Street and delay results in those areas.

Also, you can still vote at 2525 Gambell Street or at City Hall until 8 pm.

4:58: Dittman Research has given Must Read Alaska its predictions on the governor’s race but it’s embargoed until the polls close at 8 pm.

2:49 pm: An Election Night Party sponsored by Mead Treadwell starts at 7 pm at Bootleggers 8 Star Saloon, 612 F Street in Anchorage. Watch the results come in with Treadwell supporters, (next to Flat Top Pizza).

2:28 pm: A voter in District 22, Kincaid Elementary School polling place, said she asked for a Republican ballot and the poll worker tried to sell her on the virtues of voting the Democrat ballot. That is the heaviest Republican precinct in District 22.

Colony Middle School

2:25 pm: A voter at Colony Middle School was not happy that the election worker had such a hard time seeing.

“The only lady checking names off on the printout can’t see or read adequately. She highlighted [name redacted] for me to sign; my name id [different name redacted]. She set her pen down on the edge of her table. I caught it before it fell. She couldn’t see it when I returned it to her. I held it right in front of her, about four inches off the table. I asked the kid next to her to get a magnifying glass; she responded that she could see fine and that we were just confusing her by going too quickly. Help!!!”

2:05 pm: Sen. Mike Shower, who was appointed to serve the remaining term of former Sen. Mike Dunleavy in District E, spent the morning in the heavy downpour waving at drivers at the bridge of Trunk Road and the Parks Highway.

“Watching those 50,000 commuters go by was amazing, and there were a lot of honks and about every fifth car had someone waving back. Only about five one-finger salutes,” he said. No sign of Randall Kowalke, who is running against Shower for the Senate seat.

Tonight, Sen. Shower and his wife Michelle Shower are having a thank-you party in their hangar for the volunteers on his campaign. “I just think it’s more appropriate to stay in my district and thank people here,” he said, explaining why he will not be heading to Anchorage for the Election Central event at the Aviator Hotel.

1:35 pm: In Sutton, the rain was pouring down all morning, but Rep. George Rauscher was sign waving there before heading to Farm Loop to wave at drivers and remind them to vote for him. Also spotted in the Farm Loop area was his main rival, former Rep. Jim Colver, who was standing with some of his union “volunteers” to wave at District 9 voters.

Campaign volunteers wave at passersby in Sutton, and feature a sign saying, “Take a Walk Walker” on Primary Election Day.

1:12 pm: The rain pours down in Southcentral through Fairbanks still, but Juneau had a beautiful day for voting. The sign-wavers at the Egan Expressway turnout started at daybreak, with about 12 people with coffee cups in one hand and signs in the other waving for Mike Dunleavy for governor. Joining them at the scenic turnout were two people waving signs for Rob Edwardson for House District 34 — one of those sign wavers was Rep. Justin Parish, who Edwardson works for as an aide. Edwardson is Parish’s choice to replace him. A couple of people sign-waved for Edwardson’s primary opponent, Andi Story. Edwardson vs. Story are one of the few contested Democratic primaries today.

This afternoon the sign-waving will continue for the home-bound traffic.

12:34 pm: Update from Ketchikan, it’s a gorgeous 75-degree day, with a cloudless sky, yet voter turnout seems low in Alaska’s First City, according to our source. It was the slowest poll workers had seen in years by 9:30 am, but it’s starting to pick up during the noon hour. There will be a sign-waving crew for Dunleavy for governor during the afternoon going-home drive.

12:11: pm: The Wall Street Journal wrote a story on Alaska’s primary.

“Alaskans voting in the state’s primary election Tuesday are poised to set up a rare three-way race for governor amid unhappiness with independent incumbent Bill Walker, a struggling economy and a rising crime rate.

“Former state senator Mike Dunleavy is heavily favored to win a seven-person race for the Republican nomination when polls close at 8 p.m. local time. He had 46% support, compared with 19% for his closest competitor, in a recent poll.

“Former U.S. Sen. Mark Begich is running unopposed on the Democratic side.

“In a three-way race, Mr. Dunleavy has the support of between 32% and 36% of likely Alaska voters, while Mr. Walker gets 28% and Mr. Begich gets between 22% and 28%, according to a pair of recent polls, one commissioned by Mr. Walker’s campaign and one by a labor union.”

11:45 am: “I am now predicting that we have a 24 percent voter turnout today.” – Suzanne Downing, Must Read Alaska.

As of last night, the Division of Elections had sent out 9,836 mail ballots, and received 4,698 back. 6,906 had early voted before the close last night at the early voting locations. This appears to be about normal compared to earlier years.

11:32 am: Stanley Wright, running for District 16 unopposed in the Republican primary, was still not taking any votes for granted and campaigned in the pouring rain. “God bless America”:

11:24 am: A reader is still steamed about the Anchorage municipality’s mail-in election and sent this picture to express her displeasure with the local elections held in April:

11:02 am: Bernie Moffitt, a veteran voting in Meadow Lakes in Wasilla says that he was given the Democrat ballot after being told that he was a member of the Veterans political group, which prohibited him from voting in the Republican Primary. He says that he thinks he checked a box on his voter registration card that indicated he is a veteran, and that it put him into the “Veterans Party.” He wanted to vote the Republican ballot and was eventually allowed to vote it but had to change his party affiliation to Undeclared. “We thought putting veteran on our voter registration was just because we’re veterans, the majority of us are Republicans. It’s incredible.”

10:25 am: Marcus Sanders has finished voting in District 17. He ran into one of his elementary school teachers there at Lake Otis Elementary School and she said she was voting for him: “Very emotional moment for me this morning at the polls. I ran into one of my elementary school teachers who told me she was voting for me. She said she remembered the challenges I had growing up – she saw them first hand. Hands down one of the most profound moments I’ve had on the campaign trail. To have the support of those who made me into the man I am today is such a high honor.”

10:10 am: Report has come in from Bartlett High School in Anchorage that voting starting off rough. “The Bartlett High School Polling Place is an EPIC fail this morning. The doors were not opened until 7:20 AM. When they did open, they had no idea what to do. They couldn’t find the Republican ballots. When they did finally find them, the electronic box that takes your ballot is rejecting all of the voters ballots with the machine stating “INVALID BALLOT” Then the polling people took my ballot and started showing it to everyone in the office. Same thing with the next guy in line behind me. WTF.”

Mead Treadwell and crew waves to drivers during rush hour traffic in Anchorage.

9:31 am: For sign-wavers in Fairbanks, it was a quiet morning. Sign-wavers for Mike Dunleavy were at the Airport/University intersection. No other candidates showed up. A handful of Kathryn Dodge/Alyse Galvin supporters were spotted at Airport and Lathrop. No other sign-wavers showed up at any other corner on the south side of Fairbanks. Missing were all the usual union workers, which usually show up by the dozens to wave signs. Begich supporters were not seen, but he doesn’t have an opponent on the Democrats’ ballot.

 

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • Let’s cheat no matter how we do it. Anything. Choose literally anything, make it up as you go. Anything at all for a Dem win.

  • Suzanne – Thanks for the regular updates and your thankless work with MRA.

  • Thank you, Suzanne, for keeping us informed! I’m waiting breathlessly for Dunleavy and Meyer to sweep the state tonight and in November. Note to Governor Taker: Start packing!! :). Making Alaska Great Again starts tonight!

    • Dunleavy/ Grunwald a much better team.

      • Grunwald has a tragic story indeed but it is not a reason to vote for her. She is an unknown and she hangs around with some shady people.

  • Thank you Suzanne. Young/Dunleavy/Grunwald/Vance. Just what Alaska needs, and not a moment too late.

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