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City votes on mayor, School Board, Prop. 5

Rosemary Shinohara
Campaign supporters of Mayor Dan Sullivan look at election results at McGinley's Pub in downtown Anchorage on Tuesday April 3, 2012.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Campaign signs for Mayor Dan Sullivan at McGinley's Pub in downtown Anchorage on Tuesday April 3, 2012.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Juliet Hildreth and Theresa Dayton of Prop 7 celebrate outside election central on Tuesday, Apr. 3, 2012.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Mayoral candidate Paul Honeman (left) and his campaign manager Mike Gutierrez check early election results. They were at the municipal clerks office checking on the lack of ballots at some polling places, Tuesday April 3, 2012.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Ballots and election equipment return to City Hall after the municipal election on Tuesday, Apr. 3, 2012.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Election workers bring ballots to City Hall Tuesday evening, April 3, 2012.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Ballots and election equipment return to City Hall after the municipal election on Tuesday, Apr. 3, 2012.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Kelly Harrell, left, casts her ballot in the municipal elections at the polling place at Christian Church of Anchorage on Tuesday morning, April 3, 2012. Election worker Scott Williamson is at right.
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News
Ballots and election equipment return to City Hall after the municipal election on Tuesday, Apr. 3, 2012.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Besse Odom signs in voters at the polling place at the Christian Church of Anchorage on Tuesday morning, April 3, 2012.
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News
Ballots and election equipment return to City Hall after the municipal election on Tuesday, Apr. 3, 2012.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Election worker Scott Williamson hands out a sticker after voter casts a ballot at the Christian Church of Anchorage polling place on Tuesday morning, April 3, 2012.
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News
Ballots and election equipment return to City Hall after the municipal election on Tuesday, Apr. 3, 2012.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Thomas Azzarella holds a sign in support of Proposition 5 at the corner of Northern Light Boulevard and the Seward Highway on Tuesday morning, April 3, 2012.
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News
Mayoral candidate Paul Honeman checks his phone near the elevators in City Hall after the municipal election on Tuesday, Apr. 3,
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Mayoral candidate Paul Honeman and his campaign manager Mike Gutierrez visited with the municipal clerk after the election on Tuesday, Apr. 3, 2012, concerning the ballot shortage.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Steve Baker holds button he made for Mayor Dan Sullivan's run for at McGinley's Pub in downtown Anchorage on Tuesday April 3, 2012.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Election workers Phyllis Janke and Deborah Hartley deliver ballots to city hall after the municipal election on Tuesday, Apr. 3, 2012. They said they ran out of ballots at their precinct at Alpenglow Elementary in Eagle River.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Mayoral candidate Paul Honeman walks toward city hall after the municipal election on Tuesday, Apr. 3,
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Anchorage mayor Dan Sullivan and his wife Lynnette at election central after the municipal election on Tuesday, Apr. 3,
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Lynnette Sullivan and Mayor Dan Sullivan and supporters arrive at election central in downtown Anchorage on Tuesday April 3, 2012.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Lynnnette Warren pins a Yes on 5 button in support of Proposition on Adrian Matanza at the Snow City Cafe in downtown Anchorage on election night on Tuesday April 3, 2012.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Former mayor George Wuerch and Mayor Dan Sullivan and and Gale Hall look at results on election night at McGinley's Pub in downtown Anchorage on Tuesday April 3, 2012.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Lynnnette Warren hands out Yes on 5 buttons in support of Proposition at the Snow City Cafe in downtown Anchorage on election night on Tuesday April 3, 2012.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Trevor Storrs campaign spokesperson for proposition 5 talks to supporters at the Snow City Cafe in downtown Anchorage on election night on Tuesday April 3, 2012.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Proposition 5 supporters gather at the Snow City Cafe in downtown Anchorage on election night on Tuesday April 3, 2012.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Proposition 5 supporters gather at the Snow City Cafe in downtown Anchorage on election night on Tuesday April 3, 2012. Pastor Martin Eldred of Joy Luthern Church holds granddaughter Naomi Eldred at the cafe. The church is one of the sponsors of Prop 5.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News

After watching an intense few weeks of campaigning unfold, Anchorage voters are casting ballots Tuesday to decide on a gay-rights initiative, pick who should be mayor, choose three School Board members, and say yes or no to $91 million in bond propositions.

Voters are requesting absentee ballot and voting early in higher numbers than last year, said city clerk Barbara Gruenstein, indicating turnout may be up, too. More than 3,800 people had already voted at Loussac Library, City Hall or Chugiak Senior Center through Sunday, Gruenstein said. Another 2,675 people had requested absentee ballots, though they may not all vote, she said. She did not have comparable numbers for last year, but knows the numbers are up.

The ballot item that's drawn the most attention is Proposition 5, an initiative that would add "sexual orientation or transgender identity" to the city's anti-discrimination code. The ballot language asks whether the city code should provide legal protections against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or transgender identity, as the code already does on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, marital status, age and disabilities.

Church leaders have lined up on both sides of this issue. More than 45 leaders of denominations including Lutheran, Methodist, Episcopal and Quaker groups support Proposition 5. They've formed a group called Christians for Equality.

And more than 80 church leaders signed an open letter against the proposition. The Anchorage Baptist Temple donated $80,000 to fight against Prop. 5. Pastors of some evangelical, Catholic and historically African-American churches are among the initiative's opponents.

The leading candidates for mayor are split on Prop. 5, too.

Assemblyman and mayoral candidate Paul Honeman favors it, and said gay rights are "the equal civil rights movement of our era."

Mayor Dan Sullivan opposes it. He said he hasn't heard of any quantifiable evidence of people being fired or denied housing because of their sexuality. Sullivan in 2009 vetoed a similar gay rights ordinance that passed the Assembly.

MAYOR

Sullivan and Honeman are among six candidates for mayor. The others are Jacob Seth Kern, Bob Lupo, Phil Isley and Bruce J. Lemke.

SCHOOL BOARD

The School Board races also drew six competitors, two for each of three seats on the ballot. The candidates are: For Seat E, incumbent Kathleen Plunkett and David Nees; Seat F, Tam Agosti-Gisler and Richard Wanda, and Seat G, Starr Marsett and Natasha von Imhof.

All board members are elected citywide.

BOND PROPOSITIONS

The ballot includes four bond propositions:

• $59.1 million for schools.

• $27.5 million for roads.

• $2.8 million for parks.

• $1.6 million for public transit and an ambulance.

Reach Rosemary Shinohara at rshinohara@adn.com or 257-4340.

Anchorage voting basics:

Polls open: 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Looking for your polling place? Call 269-8683, or go to neighborhood.muni.org/, type your address, and select political. Ballots for all parts of town also available election day at two polling places: Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, lowest level, and UAA Student Center.

Results will be posted: After polls close at muni.org/elections and at election central 8-11 p.m. Tuesday at the Dena'ina Center, Kahtnu Rooms, second floor. Check adn.com for updates.


By ROSEMARY SHINOHARA
Anchorage Daily News