Anchorage Voters Motivated by Different Causes

A steady stream of voters filed into Airport Heights Elementary this morning to cast their ballots. From life-long voters to first-timers, they had different reasons.

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Twenty-four year old Karron Hood has never voted before.

“I was one of those kids who was like, ‘I don’t want to have a hand in the whole government thing and all this and that,'” he explains. “But I learned eventually that they fought for our right to vote, so I may as well give it a chance.”

IMG_2768He walked to the polling place through the crisp breeze with his friend Phyllis Kopiasz, who’s been a regular voter for decades.

“I always vote,” she says. “Why wouldn’t you vote? It’s like attendance for the politicians, so they know you’re paying attention.”

For Justin Craver, voting isn’t about the politicians, it’s about the ballot measures.

“I don’t really care about people in charge. I feel like they’re kind of all the same. So I like voting on things,” like the measures and initiatives, he says. “I feel like it’s more impactful on my day-to-day life.”

Tom Boni, decked out in his American flag suspenders, says he thinks it’s often the specific issues that drive turn out during elections. He and his wife have been voting in Alaska for more than 50 years.

“But I notice that when different things are on the ballot, different people show up. We’re here all the time. Hip-hip-hooray for the senior citizens, right? We’re the standby.”

His wife, Sandra, says they come for a practical reason.

“You bet I’ve always voted. I wouldn’t miss it. Because hey, if I don’t vote then I can’t gripe about what’s going on. You bet!”

A few minutes after entering the school, Karron Hood walks out after casting his first ballot.

He says he feels different.  “I feel awesome. I made a change and I’m glad to see what the outcome is.”

He’ll find out after the polls close at 8 o’clock tonight.