Tuesday served as Election Day for the Mat-Su Borough Assembly and Mat-Su Borough School District School Board. With five available seats up for election, Mat-Su Valley voters turned out to the polls at a rate of 8.98 percent.
“Part of the low voter turnout is that [Permanent Fund Dividend’s] this year. People were automatically registered to vote so our voter numbers went up really high and we had low voter turnout so now it looks way worse than it really is, but I’ll tell you after working at a precinct all day and for the last two weeks, a lot of people just didn’t know that this was going on,” Amy Hansen said. “They’re confused as to why they didn’t already vote for everything and why they were missing so much on the first go around in October and so there’s confusion since we split the elections up.”
Out of 47,323 registered voters in the Mat-Su Borough, only 4,248 votes had been cast and counted as of 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday.
“I think we could do a lot better with raising voter awareness and I think that everybody should be involved with that. It’s like if you believe in Palmer, you should believe in raising voter awareness and that to me is totally bipartisan. Everyone should support that,” Brian Daniels said.
Daniels listened to interviews on Radio Free Palmer and did research on each candidate online.
“I voted for Endle and I voted for him because he has values and philosophy of government that I’m more comfortable with,” Diana Whipple said.
Whipple educated herself on the candidates with election information she got in the mail and articles online, as well as paying attention to which candidates received endorsements. James Smith and his wife each researched the candidates themselves and reached separate conclusions before discussing the candidates with each other.
“I voted for Nowers, I voted for her. I liked the amount of time that she’d been in the state. I think that that’s important. I’m a civil engineer so I look for people that are trying to be honest about development and some of the other candidates I wasn’t clear about their position, talking about bullet points like cutting the budget and then also saying investing and really there’s some confusion there,” Smith said.
Staff with the Mat-Su Borough have confirmed that the election results posted before 9 p.m. will be the last results for the night until the meeting of the Canvas Board and election certification at the assembly meeting on Nov. 19.