The first round of results from Anchorage’s mayoral run-off election counted nearly seven times as many ballots as the first round of results from the regular April 6 election, but contained just about as much certainty about the outcome.
With nearly as many votes counted as were cast in the entire April 6 election, progressive Anchorage Assemblyman Forrest Dunbar leads extreme-right conservative Dave Bronson by a razor-thin 114 votes. Dunbar has 36,075 votes (50.08%) to Bronson’s 35,961 votes (49.92%).
There are at least another 6,000 ballots in the city’s hands that have yet to be tallied, a number that we can expect to grow over the coming days. The city provides updated counts typically late in the afternoons.
Ballots can be received by the city up to 10 days after election day as long as they’re postmarked on or before election day. Voters who have had their ballots rejected for mismatched signatures have until then to cure their ballots and should be receiving notification via mail. In the regular election, 850 ballots were ultimately rejected because of mismatched signatures while about 600 voters took advantage of the curing process for a variety of reasons.
Outlook: The city counted far more ballots on election night than they had during the April 6 run-off election. What that means when it comes to expect from the several thousand remaining ballots isn’t entirely clear. Bronson did well with ballots counted after election day in the regular election, with some mix of election-day voting and mail-in ballots received after election day, but the dynamics of the run-off election where both campaigns were more organized and motivated to turn out voters may change.
If the race finishes within a 0.5% margin, it will head to an automatic recount.