Voters cast ballots in Alaska’s special general and regular primary elections at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2022 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Voters cast ballots in Alaska’s special general and regular primary elections at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2022 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

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 26.2% of the 16,582 voters in House District 7 cast ballots in Tuesday’s election. 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 Tuesday. That is an increase from 26.1% in 2020, 25.9% in 2018 and 17.6% in 2016.

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

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.

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.

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.

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