Anchorage’s final round of unofficial municipal election results shows about a 28% voter turnout — the lowest voter turnout in a citywide election since the switch to vote-by-mail, but still higher than city elections for Assembly members before the change.
Results also show that in five of the city’s six districts, Assembly candidates who are more aligned with the current left-of-center majority won with sizable margins over their conservative opponents.
Officials counted ballots of 65,853 of 235,546 registered voters in Anchorage as of Friday.
After years of consistently low voter turnout, the city in 2018 switched to a vote-by-mail system in an effort to encourage voting. That year’s mayoral race smashed previous voter turnout records with a turnout of 36.3%. Again during the 2021 mayoral runoff race, the record was topped by a 38.4% voter turnout.
Non-mayoral races generally don’t draw as much turnout. Last year’s election for Assembly and school board saw about 30% turnout. While this year’s turnout is lower, it is several percentage points higher than turnout during non-mayoral elections between 2012 and 2018, election data from the municipal clerk’s office shows.
After the results are certified by a vote of the Assembly, five newly elected Assembly members and two reelected members will begin their terms in office. Certification is scheduled for Tuesday evening during the regular Assembly meeting.
With more than half of the city’s 12 Assembly members chosen in this year’s race, the results are set to have a profound impact on the city’s political landscape.
In North Anchorage, Assembly Vice Christopher Constant won reelection with 64.85% of the vote, according to the preliminary results. Member Felix Rivera won his bid for reelection in Midtown with 54.28%.
First-time candidate Anna Brawley won West Anchorage with 56.64%. In East Anchorage, which had both its seats up for election, George Martinez won with 56.72% and Karen Bronga won with 59.35%. Bronga’s term will only be two years as opposed to the normal three; she is replacing Forrest Dunbar, who left the Assembly after winning a state Senate seat. In South Anchorage, Zac Johnson won with 50.69% of the vote.
The Eagle River/Chugiak district, a conservative stronghold, is the only district to elect a right-leaning candidate. Scott Myers won the district by 59.2%.
In the Anchorage School Board races, both incumbents won reelection. Member Dave Donley won with 57.5%, and member Andy Holleman won with 53.6%, according to the preliminary results.
All propositions were approved by Anchorage voters, with the exception of Proposition 13, which would have changed how mayoral vacancies are filled.