Division of Elections data: Primary turnout higher than previous elections

Turnout among central Kenai Peninsula voters in Tuesday’s primary election was higher than in the 2020, 2018 and 2016 state primaries, data from the Alaska Division of Election show.

About 37.97% of the 17,719 registered voters in House District 6 cast ballots in last Tuesday’s election. Voter turnout has steadily increased over the past six years, with 28% in 2020, 27% in 2018 and 26% in 2016. Registration also increased, from about 15,000 in 2016 to the current 17,719. However, District 6 changed from the former District 31 with redistricting last year.

About 26.2% of the 16,582 voters in House District 7 cast ballots last Tuesday. That’s compared to 23% in 2020, 22.2% in 2018 and 18.4% in 2016.

Roughly 33.7% of voters in House District 8 cast ballots last Tuesday. That is an increase from 26.1% in 2020, 25.9% in 2018 and 17.6% in 2016.

All districts were renumbered this year following redistricting resulting from the 2020 census.

District 6, formerly District 31, includes Anchor Point, Halibut Cove, Homer, Kasilof, Nanwalek, Ninilchik, Port Graham, Seldovia, and the Fox River area Russian villages of Kachemak Selo, Razdolna and Voznesenka. The southern Kachemak Bay and lower Cook Inlet communities were added to District 6.

District 7, formerly District 30, includes most of Kenai, Soldotna and Kalifornsky. District 8, formerly District 29, includes the Kenai Peninsula north of Tustumena Lake and east of Kasilof. It includes Bear Creek, but not Seward.

In both State House Districts 7 and 8, which collectively cover the Kenai Peninsula north of Tustumena Lake and east to Bear Creek, the largest share of votes went to U.S. Senate hopeful Kelly Tshibaka, incumbent Gov. Mike Dunleavy and to Sarah Palin, who is hoping to replace Don Young in the U.S. House of Representatives, in each candidate’s respective race.

In the District 6 primary, incumbent U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski led by 41.65% to Tshibaka with 41.21%. Peltola took the lead with 36.99%, followed by Palin at 33.15% and Begich at 24.29%.

Gubernatorial candidate Charlie Pierce received more support from Kenai Peninsula voters than from voters statewide, relative to the other people running for governor. Statewide, Pierce received about 6.83% of votes cast. That’s compared to District 7, where he received 22.3% of votes cast and in District 8, where he received about 21.74%. Dunleavy received the most votes in both. In District 6, Dunleavy/Dahlstrom had 30.01%, Gara/Cook had 26.89% and Pierce/Grunwald had 17.82%.

The results published by the Division of Elections are preliminary and unofficial. They were most recently updated Wednesday afternoon and reflect results from 395 of Alaska’s 402 precincts. Sept. 2 is the target date for the State Review Board to certify the election.

Unofficial results can be found on the division’s website at elections.alaska.gov/election-results/.

Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at ashlyn.ohara@peninsulaclarion.com.