Politics

America's last voter was a teacher in the remote Alaska town of Adak

The last voter in America this election was an Alaska schoolteacher in the remote town of Adak out on the Aleutian chain.

Julie Plummer voted around 7:50 p.m. Tuesday Hawaii-Aleutian Time, which is 8:50 p.m. for most of Alaska.

She said Tuesday night she didn't set out to be the last voter, but she was walking her dog — a pit bull mix named Kaine, like the Democratic vice presidential candidate — and time got away from her. In all, five voters came in after 7 p.m. to the community building, which houses the post office and library, said Debra Sharrah, Adak city clerk and election chairperson.

Plummer voted for Hillary Clinton, and it wasn't just an anti-Trump selection.

"I think she's got the skills to be a good first female president," said Plummer, 57. She said she usually votes for Democrats, but for Congress, she marked her ballot for Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Rep. Don Young.

Adak, 1,300 miles from Anchorage, is still trying to rebuild after its busy days as a strategic military outpost during World War II and then the Cold War.

Plummer arrived in 1998 as a teacher and has made it her home. Its school has only 14 students across all grades this year.

"The student population is very diverse, even though it's really small. I feel I can impact lives," Plummer said.

She knows most of the locals, though visitors do pass through — caribou hunters and birders, government officials and contractors.

She said she spends most of her spare time preparing for her students but likes to walk around the island, known for howling wind and steady rain, a place with its own wild beauty.

Alaska, which is still voting when results are in for much of the country, often seems incidental to presidential races. While Adak shares a time zone with Hawaii, polls close there at 6 p.m.

"We are the last place where you can vote for president," said Layton Lockett, the city manager for the last six years in Adak and the election co-chairman.

Plummer said she was hoping Alaska's three electoral votes will matter this year.

If Trump pulls off a surprise win, as was appearing likely late Tuesday, does the last voter have first thoughts for the country about a Trump presidency?

"I guess I'm just thankful there's a division of power," Plummer said. "There are checks and balances that I hope bring out the best in him and control the parts I worry about."

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