Early Voting Popular, But Not As Strong As 2008
Tuesday more than 400 polling places open statewide
ANCHORAGE - People hoping to beat the Tuesday crowd were still met by a line of voters at the midtown election office. For some, Monday was the only day they could make it.
“I don't have time, I have a big meeting and then I have to pick up my son. He's 14 months and all over the place so it would be hard to stand there and really think about who I want to vote for,” said Eagle River resident, Robin Glover.
Gail Fenumiai, the Director of the Division of Elections, says about 1,700 people voted at the Region 2 office over the weekend and estimates another thousand came through on Monday. Voters say they’re glad they have options.
“I think it's a good idea. I used to not think it was a good idea but now that I have a family and a job it's much easier to come when you can vote then having to just come on Tuesday,” said Anchorage resident Devon Crawford.
Early voter turnout, however, is down this year. Fenumiai says so far about 17,000 people statewide early voted, that’s down 6,000 from the 2008 general election. The elections office mailed out 32,000 ballots this year, compared to 45,000 in 2008.
For the first time though, Alaskans can vote online. So far about 6,500 requested electronic ballots.
“Instead of coming to early vote, maybe people are doing it from their own location, the mail voters may have missed the deadline and it's an easy and convenient way for them to get their ballot,” said Fenumiai.
There are more than 400 polling places statewide, and about 150 just in the Anchorage Bowl. Alaskans encourage each other to make their vote count.
“Motivate yourself to get out no matter how poorly you feel or whatever because this so important. There's nothing more important than this in your entire life,” said Anchorage resident Stephen Halderson.
Polls open at 7:00 a.m. and close at 8:00 p.m.