Low Voter Turnout


by Gretchen Parsons

ANCHORAGE, AK-The unofficial election results from Tuesday's Municipal Elections are in but the number of ballots actually cast is the lowest in several years.

"On election day at the precinct there was 19.3 percent of population of anchorage that cast their votes.  We have not finished counting the early votes and the question ballots that will potentially be counted," said Deputy Clerk Amanda Moser.

"Were trying to figure out how to make voting better for the public," says Dick Traini, Anchorage Assembly.

One of those ways is to change the date of city elections.

"Elections are going to change.  We voted to move them to November 2017," says Traini.

Historical data shows voter turnout for state elections in the fall is 50 to 60 percent.

Assembly members believe if city and state elections are held on the same day, ballots for Municipal Elections will boost.

“If it is going to be on the same day then it will work, because they are already going to be there. More people will show up for presidential then they will for city elections, so we will just see how it works."

But to avoid voter confusion, Trainee says the two elections will remain separate.

"Were not going to be on the same ballot they are going to come in and get their state ballot then you will go to another table, sign in for the city, and get their ballot," said Traini.

While moving the Municipal Elections to November of 2017 is set in stone, Traini says mail in ballots are a possible solution to low turn outs in future elections. 

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