Election volunteers at the Douglas Public Library set up the touch-screen voting machine before the polls open Tuesday morning, Aug. 21, 2018. (James Brooks | Juneau Empire)

Election volunteers at the Douglas Public Library set up the touch-screen voting machine before the polls open Tuesday morning, Aug. 21, 2018. (James Brooks | Juneau Empire)

The Latest: Alaska Primary Election 2018 live blog

News and results from the primary election in Juneau

10:11 p.m.

Third round of results is in, and it has all seven precincts reporting for House District 34.

Story has taken three-quarters of the Democratic votes in the Valley and will be your Democratic candidate for the general election there.

9:55 p.m.

The second round of results is in, and Story’s commanding lead is holding up, albeit a bit smaller now.

Same is true for Hannan.

9:41 p.m.

That was a bit longer than 10-15 minutes.

First results are in, with lots of early/absentee tallies and 72 precincts scattered across the state.

Here in Juneau, House District 33 is reporting 4 of 11 precincts.

Sara Hannan has 60 percent of the votes so far, with the three other candidates on the ballot sharing the remaining 40 percent.

Tom Morphet of Haines has the most, with a bit over 23 percent.

In House District 34, Andi Story has a commanding lead, but only one precinct is reporting so far.

She holds more than 80 percent of the vote.

9 p.m.

Looks like votes are coming in more slowly than expected. Probably 10-15 minutes more until first results.

8:45 p.m.

Looking back at my notes for the day, it seems like turnout is higher, possibly much higher, than it was two years ago, at least in Juneau.

For example, in 2016, the North Douglas precinct recorded 211 votes, a turnout of 14 percent.

At 6:40 p.m., with 80 minutes until the polls closed, 373 votes had been cast in the optical scan machine.

Also in 2016, the Juneau No. 2 precinct, which votes at the Northern Light United church, recorded 423 votes, or about 17.7 percent turnout.

It had 612 votes cast at 6:25 p.m. today, 95 minutes before polls closed.

8:20 p.m.

Lights are blinking on the the modems that accept the results from the precincts. First results are expected to be posted at 9 p.m.

8 p.m.

Polls are now closed across most of Alaska.

7:45 p.m.

The Alaska Division of Elections folks were nice enough to show myself and KTOO-FM’s Mikko Wilson (who is also watching results from the polling center here) the room where votes are collected from across the state.

A server accepting 48 separate phone lines (and no connection to the Internet) gets dial tones from the 304 voting precincts that use optical scan and touchscreen voting machines.

The remaining 137 precincts do things the hard way, with hand counts and telephones.

7:30 p.m.

I’ve arrived at the Alaska Division of Elections office in downtown Juneau.

It’s on the fourth floor of the “SPAM can” office building, though after the recent renovations, it’s lost the rounded corners that gave it the name.

Polls close in 30 minutes, though if you’re in Metlakatla or Hyder (which use Pacific time), they closed 30 minutes ago.

If you’re in far west portions of House District 37 (which use Hawaii-Aleutians time), they won’t close until 9 p.m.

7:15 p.m.

Democrats are beginning to gather at the coordinated campaign center (aka Jesse Kiehl’s campaign office) in the Assembly Building across Seward Street from Dimond Courthouse.

Pizza and Kiehl were in attendance, as were several other people.

Sara Hannan is expected to await results in that office.

6:40 p.m.

Voting seems to be a bit slower at the downtown fire station, home to voting for the North Douglas precinct. Only 373 votes have been cast by 6:40 p.m., plus another 30 questioned ballots. When I arrived, there was no one voting, but four people walked in the door not long after I did.

6:15 p.m.

Here at Northern Light United Church, there’s a healthy crowd and even a small line, the first I’ve seen today.

That might be because the polling place is in a slightly different spot within the building while the elevator is under construction.

It could also be because there’s been a pretty big crowd of voters.

At 6:25 p.m., 612 voters had cast regular votes, and another 23 had cast questioned ballots or special needs ballots there.

Phil Bennett, one of those voters, said she came to the polls because she wanted to cast a vote for Mead Treadwell.

She said it’s important to se him on the general election ticket and thinks he would be a good match for incumbent Gov. Bill Walker.

Karen Blejwas, meanwhile, said her top issues this fall are finding revenue sources for the state, stopping budget cuts and seeing more support for local governments.

5 p.m.

After a bit of a break, we’re back in action here at the liveblog.

The expected rain has moved across the capital city, and if you’re wondering what effect that will have on the election … probably not much.

That said, it’s making for damp conditions for the sign wavers who are back for the evening rush hour.

Photographer Michael Penn, who has been covering the city this afternoon, spotted Andi Story and Rob Edwardson waving signs side by side in the rain.

They were getting pounded face-on but were all smiles, he said.

Also there was Rep. Justin Parish, D-Juneau.

Both Story and Edwardson are seeking to replace Parish, and Edwardson is Parish’s former chief of staff.

1:10 p.m.

Here at Aldersgate, 133 ballots have been cast by 1:10 p.m.

(Again, that doesn’t count absentees or questioned ballots.)

12:30 p.m.

Back at Aldersgate United Methodist Church, Republican House District 34 candidate Jerry Nankervis is casting his vote.

From a political standpoint, Nankervis has had a quiet morning.

He is running unopposed for the Republican nomination — he’s the only Republican candidate in either Juneau House district, in fact — and doesn’t believe in sign-waving.

As a former police officer, he said, he doesn’t think sign-waving jives with city ordinances intended to prevent people from distracting drivers on the road.

It hasn’t been a quiet morning overall, however.

Instead of campaigning this morning, he’s been working on city business.

Nankervis is Juneau’s deputy mayor, and last night had a lengthy Assembly meeting.

He also had to deal with a mess caused by his puppy and do some housework before the rain arrives this afternoon.

He said his first responsibility is to the job he already has (deputy mayor), and he’s heard enough city problems while door-knocking as a House candidate that he feels he needs to address those separately from his campaign.

12 p.m.

The lunchtime rush is on at the Andrew P. Kashevaroff State Library, Archives and Museum, which holds the polling place for the Juneau No. 1 precinct.

Voters walk across the floor-length map of Alaska, underneath the Eagle Tree, and enter a room across the hall from the conservation lab to cast their votes.

Among the voters are Rocky Holmes and Peggy Bray.

“There was a lot of choices,” Holmes said. “We’re liberal, and we picked the candidates we thought were the most liberal.”

Overall this fall, both Holmes and Bray said they think the most important thing in a federal candidate is whether they will be “a check on Trump.”

10:12 a.m.

With three hours of voting in the books, 50 votes have been cast (not counting absentees or questioned ballots) at Bartlett Regional Hospital, the polling place for the Juneau No. 3 precinct.

9:30 a.m.

Accompanied by his wife, Sandy, and son Jason, Rob Edwardson cast his vote at Aldersgate United Methodist Church on Cinema Drive.

He and his wife said they were feeling pretty good about the day and were in high spirits after sign waving and breakfast this morning.

Sandy said she and Rob have had a campaign jingle stuck in their heads all morning: “Vote for Rob,” sung to this tune by the Muppets.

8:35 a.m.

At the McNugget intersection, Rob Edwardson’s supporters have broken off for a short break, leaving the intersection to Story. Edwardson said he’ll be grabbing breakfast at the Sandpiper before going to cast his vote about 9:30 a.m.

At the intersection, Story campaign manager Laury Scandling said there was an interesting coincidence yesterday when supporters of the two candidates were waving signs at the intersection ahead of the election. Scandling is a retired Juneau-Douglas High School teacher, and as it turns out, Edwardson’s campaign manager is one of her former students, Melanie Rodriguez.

“She said, ‘Well, you’re the one who told us to stay engaged,’” Scandling said.

Though they’re in opposition during this primary election, the two sides are staying friendly. They shared coffee and a corner on what turned out to be a pretty warm morning.

8 a.m.

The sign-wavers are out in full force now at the McNugget and Douglas Bridge intersections. Most started shortly after polls opened at 7 a.m. Andi Story and Rob Edwardson supporters are out at the McNugget intersection, while Sara Hannan supporters, Steve Handy and Tom Morphet are out at the bridge intersection with some Alyse Galvin supporters and a solitary Mike Dunleavy supporter. More Dunleavy supporters are at the wetlands wayside, as are some Story supporters.

For Morphet, who was straddling his bicycle while wearing a suit, it’s going to be a long day. After a morning of sign-waving here, he flies back to Haines to cast his vote and to attend what he says will be a “barn burner” of a Haines Assembly meeting. (Morphet is on the Assembly there.)

Handy, at the opposite corner of the bridge intersection, was accompanied by a supporter and by Handy’s dog Panda, a young black pug. While we were talking, a car honked and stopped to hand over a bag of food for him.

Dan Carothers, the Dunleavy sign-waver at the intersection, said it was his first time waving a sign in support of a candidate. “People are really nice,” he said. “It’s amazing the number of people who wave.”

Shaping up to be an absolutely gorgeous morning, but the weather service folks say that will give way to overcast skies and rain later.

7 a.m.

Polls are open, and here at Douglas, there was a surge of voters right at the start. Six voters came in right as the longtime polling workers here officially opened the doors.

The first voter of the day was Katy Harman, a retired preschool teacher who now works for AEYC.

She said her most important issues were making sure efforts toward a Juneau Road don’t subtract from ferry service, crime in downtown Juneau, and forward funding of state schools.

“I’ll see a lot of (teachers) at an in-service day today, and I’ll be reminding them and encouraging them to vote,” she said.

6:50 a.m.

Good morning! It’s primary election time in Alaska, with voters going to the polls across the capital city and across the 49th state to select the finalists for November’s general election.

If you see something of note today, send me an email at jbrooks@juneauempire.com or text me at 523-2258. I’ll be traveling across the city to see what turnout is like, what is motivating people to go to the polls, and catch scenes of the city.

There’s some storylines I’m following today:

• Will Democrats’ “Year of the Woman” spread through Juneau (and Alaska)? Juneau’s two state House districts have contested Democratic primary elections, with Andi Story (in the Mendenhall Valley) and Sara Hannan (in downtown and Douglas) as the putative favorites.

• What will turnout look like? Juneau’s primary Election Day turnout was pretty anemic in 2016 and 2014, but things could always change this year.

• Will the PFD voter initiative cause problems? Early voters have reported some problems, with the program overwriting their home address with the one they use for dividend delivery. That could lead to a lot of questioned ballots and possibly delay vote counting.

• Statewide, there’s a contested Republican gubernatorial primary (former state senator Mike Dunleavy is the favorite), and contested primaries for U.S. House. There are also some interesting races for state House, particularly in House District 32 (Kodiak), House District 9 (southern Interior), and House District 20 (Anchorage). Senate District G has a compelling Republican primary as well, with two incumbent Representatives seeking to replace Sen. Anna MacKinnon.


• Contact reporter James Brooks at jbrooks@juneauempire.com or 523-2258.


Haines Borough Assemblyman Tom Morphet, Democratic candidate for House District 33, encourages drivers to vote on Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018 alongside Egan Drive near the Douglas Bridge. (James Brooks | Juneau Empire)

Haines Borough Assemblyman Tom Morphet, Democratic candidate for House District 33, encourages drivers to vote on Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018 alongside Egan Drive near the Douglas Bridge. (James Brooks | Juneau Empire)

Steve Handy, Democratic candidate for House District 33, is accompanied by his pug, Panda, while waving signs at the Douglas Bridge intersection on Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018. (James Brooks | Juneau Empire)

Steve Handy, Democratic candidate for House District 33, is accompanied by his pug, Panda, while waving signs at the Douglas Bridge intersection on Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018. (James Brooks | Juneau Empire)

Steve Handy, Democratic candidate for House District 33, is accompanied by his pug, Panda, while waving signs at the Douglas Bridge intersection on Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018. (James Brooks | Juneau Empire)

Steve Handy, Democratic candidate for House District 33, is accompanied by his pug, Panda, while waving signs at the Douglas Bridge intersection on Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018. (James Brooks | Juneau Empire)

Supporters of Andi Story, Democratic candidate for House District 34, wave signs Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018 at the McNugget intersection. (James Brooks | Juneau Empire)

Supporters of Andi Story, Democratic candidate for House District 34, wave signs Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018 at the McNugget intersection. (James Brooks | Juneau Empire)

Rob Edwardson, Democratic candidate for House District 34, casts his ballot Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018 at Aldersgate United Methodist Church. At background is Edwardson’s wife, Sandy. (James Brooks | Juneau Empire)

Rob Edwardson, Democratic candidate for House District 34, casts his ballot Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018 at Aldersgate United Methodist Church. At background is Edwardson’s wife, Sandy. (James Brooks | Juneau Empire)

Jerry Nankervis, Republican candidate for House District 34, smiles after casting his ballot on Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018 in Alaska’s statewide primary election. (James Brooks | Juneau Empire)

Jerry Nankervis, Republican candidate for House District 34, smiles after casting his ballot on Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018 in Alaska’s statewide primary election. (James Brooks | Juneau Empire)

Jerry Nankervis, Republican candidate for House District 34, puts on his “I Voted” sticker after casting his ballot on Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018 in Alaska’s statewide primary election. (James Brooks | Juneau Empire)

Jerry Nankervis, Republican candidate for House District 34, puts on his “I Voted” sticker after casting his ballot on Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018 in Alaska’s statewide primary election. (James Brooks | Juneau Empire)

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