Republicans Declare Romney Winner with Hundreds of Votes Yet to be Counted

Photo by Daysha Eaton, KSKA - Anchorage

Alaska Republicans met at locations across the state yesterday to vote on who they thought should be the Republican Presidential nominee. There are still hundreds of ballots to be counted and just 425 votes separate Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum, but, as Daysha Eaton of member station KSKA reports, that doesn’t seem to be stopping Republican Party Officials from declaring it a Romney victory.

Voters across the state filled community centers, churches and schools Tuesday to participate in Alaska’s Presidential Preference Poll. Many voters cast their ballots at East Anchorage Christian Schools.

“James Holo from Anchorage. It’s the first time I’ve voted in a primary. I’m very, very concerned about our country. I voted for Mitt Romney because I believe he’s the one who can beat Barak Obama. Republicans have to win this time.”

And apparently many Alaskan voters felt the same way, and that was clear once the numbers started rolling in at Republican Party Headquarters in Anchorage.

Republican Party Chair, Randy Reudrich tallied the numbers onto a nearby envelope. Then two more districts came in.

“We have three districts in. Gingrich has a 126, Paul has 182, Romney has 330 and Santorum has 234,” Reudrich said.

Right away Romney was in the lead and it stayed that way all night long. More than 13,000 people voted across the state.

Officials say it may be as late as next week before the final count is available, but that they are doubtful it will change the outcome. More than 13,000 voters turned out to participate in the state’s Presidential Preference Poll.

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Daysha Eaton is a contributor with the Alaska Public Radio Network. Daysha Eaton holds a B.A. from Evergreen State College, and a M.A. from the University of Southern California. Daysha got her start in radio at Seattle public radio stations, KPLU and KUOW. Before coming to KBBI, she was the News Director at KYUK in Bethel. She has also worked as the Southcentral Reporter for KSKA in Anchorage. Daysha's work has appeared on NPR's "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered", PRI's "The World" and "National Native News". She's happy to take assignments, and to get news tips, which are best sent via email. Daysha became a journalist because she believes in the power of storytelling. Stories connect us and they help us make sense of our world. They shed light on injustice and they comfort us in troubled times. She got into public broadcasting because it seems to fulfill the intention of the 4th Estate and to most effectively apply the freedom of the press granted to us through the Constitution. She feels that public radio has a special way of moving people emotionally through sound, taking them to remote places, introducing them to people they would not otherwise meet and compelling them to think about issues they might ordinarily overlook.