Showing posts from August, 2014

Alaska's District 36 Republican Primary Barely Budged

A few weeks ago, I wrote about Alaska's House District 36, the southern southeast region of the state centered on Ketchikan. On August 18th, a day before the election, I wrote urging people to vote yes on ballot measure 1.

A slight majority of Alaskans ended up voting against measure 1, convinced by the Parnell administration and the millions of dollars in campaign money spent by oil companies and their allies. Needless to say, I did not feel like writing about politics after that.

I did, however, notice a striking pattern in some of the other electoral results from that day—the District 36 Republican primary.

Please Vote Yes on Alaska's Ballot Measure 1

I won't mince words. I want Ballot Measure 1 to pass in the election this Tuesday more than I want any other result in 2014's elections.

In my view, Tuesday's vote on Ballot Measure 1 is a question that will massively impact my future, my family's, and that of all Alaskans. A no vote will put that future at risk, threatening the Alaska state government's fiscal solvency and calling its independent democracy into question. A yes vote will put Alaska back on track, preserve the state's finances, and affirm Alaskans' political independence from monied outside interests.

Alaska District 36 Statistics

I live in Alaska's District 36, newly created after the crazy episode of redistricting that was this and this and this. (Ketchikan used to be in District 1, but apparently someone from Fairbanks managed to change the numbering so it's in their community now.)

As a precursor to the upcoming primary election (August 19th) and general election (November 4th), I thought I should share some statistics about my district related to population and political affiliation—a sort of electoral "getting to know you" piece. (All statistics come from this state source.)

As is true for all of Alaska, the majority of people in District 36 prefer not to identify with a political party. In fact, over 58% of District 36 voters are "undeclared" or "nonpartisan," compared with less than 54% in the whole state. (I am "undeclared." Read this to find out why.)

25.4% of the district's voters are registered Republicans, while only 11.6% are registered Democrat…

The Reason I'm an "Undeclared" Alaska Voter

"Undeclared" is the most popular political label in Alaska. According to these statistics, almost 37 percent (181,979) of Alaska voters are "undeclared," almost as much as Republicans and Democrats combined (202,237).

When you add those who choose the label "nonpartisan," a full 53.8 percent of Alaska voters (266,072) refuse to register with any political party or group.

While others might try to analyze why this might be the case, I would simply like to share my thoughts. I'm an Alaskan who chose to check myself "undeclared" when I registered to vote. Here's why:

I can't think of myself as "nonpartisan." I clearly choose sides on political issues, and I'll support whatever side I agree with, so I reserve the right to be partisan.

I am also not necessarily an "independent" voter, as the media often labels us, even if that term isn't an official option in Alaska. I will join with groups that support the sa…