With municipal elections just a day away, early voting in Anchorage is nearing record levels.
Municipal elections in April turn out fewer voters than national races in November. In 2012, during the last mayor’s race, about 35.82% of eligible voters cast ballots in the municipality. In 2009, when Mayor Dan Sullivan beat Eric Croft in a runoff, that number was 27.95%. That same year, 7,333 early votes and absentee ballot requests came in, a high for the Municipality.
As of Monday, the Clerk’s Office was 50 early votes away from breaking that record.
“The numbers are higher than they’ve been,” said Amanda Moser, Deputy Clerk for the Municipality. Officials in Anchorage are trying to get more residents involved in the elections that determine who’s in charge of the city.
The Clerk’s Office gathered 7,283 early in-person votes and requests for absentee ballots by midday Monday, which is about 10.2% of the total number of voters who came to the polls for the last mayoral election. It’s part of an upward trend.
“I do know that we have made a strong effort over the last couple years to get out the early vote and to encourage residents to vote by mail,” Moser said.
With a crowded mayoral field in this year’s race, many campaigns and polls are predicting no single candidate will get the 45% of the vote needed to win outright. In that case the top two candidates will head into a run off election on May 5th.
Polling stations are open from 7am to 8pm on election day.