Anchorage

Bronson slightly widens lead over Dunbar in Anchorage mayoral election

Dave Bronson remained on track Tuesday to become Anchorage’s next mayor after growing his lead over opponent Forrest Dunbar, according to the latest round of preliminary election results posted online.

He had a 1,212-vote lead over Dunbar on Tuesday, with 45,421 total votes and 50.68% of the vote. Dunbar had 44,209 votes and 49.32% of the vote.

Counted ballots have broken in favor of Bronson since last Wednesday. Results posted last Tuesday, on runoff election night, put Dunbar slightly ahead initially, but Bronson quickly eclipsed Dunbar.

Still, Bronson has not declared victory and Dunbar has not conceded. Shortly after the new results were posted Tuesday, Bronson posted a photo of the results to his campaign’s Facebook page. “Our fourth positive report and we are still counting,” he wrote.

Dunbar has not commented on the latest results, though a campaign spokeswoman said he may release a statement late Tuesday or on Wednesday. On Friday, Dunbar had said on social media it “appears unlikely that we will make up the difference.”

An additional 2,598 ballots were included in Tuesday’s count since the last round of results was posted Friday, and Bronson’s lead has now grown by about 100 votes. A total of 89,763 ballots have been counted. The election center has received more than 91,500 ballot envelopes so far.

However, not all of those will make it into the final vote tally, for a wide variety of reasons. Reasons include that some ballot envelopes are returned unsigned or are returned containing more than one ballot or no ballot. Sometimes, the signature on the ballot does not match the voter’s legal signature on record. In that case, the voter must go through more steps to verify their identity before the ballot envelope is fully processed.

Mailed ballots are continuing to arrive at the center in small numbers. Regular ballots have until Friday to arrive and be counted. Overseas ballots have until May 25.

Though there are more ballots left to count, it is unlikely that Dunbar could recover enough votes to win.

The results of the election are not official until they are certified by the Anchorage Assembly. Certification is scheduled for May 25.

The runoff election for Anchorage mayor prompted a record voter turnout, breaking the previous record from 2018, during the last mayoral election. Voter turnout is at 37.91% so far. The record in 2018 was 36.3%.

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