Autopsy of Election 2014

I was fascinated by the contradictions and the close gubernatorial race of the November 2014 general election results; I was left with many questions. How did a generally conservative state pass a liberal initiative (marijuana)? Why was the governor’s race so close given the failed policies, general mistrust, and well publicized scandal of incumbent Governor Sean Parnell? How could we be so evenly and deeply divided as a state? Governor Bill Walker garnered 48.10% of the vote and won by 6,223 votes (a slim 2.22%) to incumbent Governor Sean Parnell’s 45.88%.Governor-Elect Nov 14_2014

I decided to delve into the numbers available from the State Division of Elections (DOE) and look at the election like a survey of sorts; after all, a 55% voter turnout is a pretty good representation of the voting public.

DOE records show Alaska has 509,011 registered voters. I had to use this number for a baseline, but I cannot vouch for it. I don’t know how outdated any particular district’s registration list is. If you talked to any volunteers working the phone banks during the campaign, like I did, the registration lists could use a good audit. I agree. I know my son left home three years ago and I still received a ton of political solicitation for his vote. But, for my purpose here, it works.

We had a total of 279,958 (55%) voters. This means 229,053 (45%) of registered voters chose not to participate. I find this disturbing. We need to find out why people don’t vote; is it apathy, difficulty, or some other reason? The table provided with this post focuses on the distribution, by senate district, of voters versus non-voters. Some districts get out the vote better than others; what are they doing differently and right?

And, why did it take so long to count the vote and certify the election? Surely, some improvement is needed in the state’s vote counting system. If I could, I would lobby for an electronic voter registration and voting system; as an option to the by-mail system. I would also move all the systems deadline dates back a month to make the final count and certification align with election night. Today’s technology could surely implement an electronic, paperless, secure, system allowing people to register and vote right from their mobile device(s).

The thing I can say with certainty is Unity is the hope. Division is the reality. The question is, HOW do we come together to realize the hope brought by the historic Unity ticket victory? How do we close the deep divide, weather the storm, and meet the challenges ahead? Expectations are running very high.

Obviously, my analysis has left me with more questions than answers. I have tons more data showing more comparisons which I will add over the coming days. So, tables to be continued.

In spite of the divide shown by these numbers, I remain optimistic. I have great confidence in the integrity and leadership of Governor Bill Walker and Lt. Governor Byron Mallott.

Albert Einstein said “From discord find harmony, out of clutter find simplicity. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” I believe it.

Across Alaska, By the Numbers

The following table shows the voters, and the non-voters, across Alaska, by Senate District.

Senate District

Regist Voters

Total Votes

Total

Voter

Non

% of

Analysis #2

by House Dist.

by Dist.

Voters

Turnout

Voters

Non Voters

A. Pete Kelly R

12,150

5,849

 

11,146

3,796

9,645

3.45%

13,651

5.96%

B. John Coghill R

12,683

6,053

 

13,749

8,603

14,656

5.24%

11,776

5.14%

C. Click Bishop R

12,565

6,933

 

14,315

7,036

13,969

4.99%

12,911

5.64%

D. Charlie Huggins R

12,668

6,964

 

11,713

6,450

13,414

4.79%

10,967

4.79%

E. Michael J. Dunleavy R

13,439

7,543

 

13,101

7,605

15,148

5.41%

11,392

4.97%

F. Bill Stoltze R

13,477

8,206

 

13,360

8,243

16,449

5.88%

10,388

4.54%

G. Anna I. Fairclough R

11,303

4,724

 

15,306

8,848

13,572

4.85%

13,037

5.69%

H. Bill Wielechowski D

11,215

4,071

 

 

   
 

12,658

6,544

10,615

3.79%

13,258

5.79%

I. Berta Gardner D

11,727

5,976

 

 

   
 

12,857

7,036

13,012

4.65%

11,572

5.05%

J. Johnny Ellis D

10,440

4,439

 

 

   
 

13,091

6,540

10,979

3.92%

12,552

5.48%

K. Mia Costello R

13,250

8,068

 

 

   
 

12,895

7,777

15,845

5.66%

10,300

4.50%

L. Lesil McGuire R

11,798

6,220

 

 

   
 

13,514

8,622

14,842

5.30%

10,470

4.57%

M. Kevin Meyer R

12,534

7,220

 

 

   
 

13,242

8,111

15,331

5.48%

10,445

4.56%

N. Catherine A Giessel R

13,574

8,054

 

 

   
 

15,175

10,455

18,509

6.61%

10,240

4.47%

O. Peter A. Micciche R

13,570

8,016

 

 

   
 

13,797

7,721

15,737

5.62%

11,630

5.08%

P. Gary Lee Stevens R

14,583

8,555

 

 

   
 

12,343

6,137

14,692

5.25%

12,234

5.34%

Q. Dennis Egan D

14,803

9,187

 

 

   
 

13,819

8,619

17,806

6.36%

10,816

4.72%

R. Bert Stedman R

14,196

7,943

 

 

   
 

13,064

7,080

15,023

5.37%

12,237

5.34%

S. Lyman F. Hoffman D

9,788

5,077

 

 

   
 

10,328

5,260

10,337

3.69%

9,779

4.27%

T. Donald C. Olson D

10,718

5,872

 

 

   
 

9,057

4,505

10,377

3.71%

9,398

4.10%

 Totals

509,011

279,958

279,958

100.00%

229,053

100.0%

Division of Election Numbers, November 25, 2014

LeadDog Alaska
Autopsy © 2014

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