Poll worker Linda Hollinbeck smiles as she gives a "I Voted" sticker to Kevin Poole on Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2016 at the Mendenhall Valley Public Library during Alaska's statewide primary. Tuesday was the first time an election was held at the library, which opened in October.

Poll worker Linda Hollinbeck smiles as she gives a "I Voted" sticker to Kevin Poole on Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2016 at the Mendenhall Valley Public Library during Alaska's statewide primary. Tuesday was the first time an election was held at the library, which opened in October.

Tuesday’s election results promise at least seven new faces in Legislature

It took 18 1/2 hours to get the last word, but when it arrived, it wasn’t that different from the first word.

On the North Slope, Democratic challenger Dean Westlake has defeated incumbent Benjamin Nageak, capping an election that has seen many incumbents removed from office by a relative handful of voters.

As of 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, 441 of Alaska’s 442 election precincts had reported results from Tuesday’s statewide primary election.

Fifty incumbent lawmakers faced the polls after the Alaska Legislature gaveled out for good in July.

Four senators and two members of the House decided against seeking re-election. Three members of the House attempted to run for open seats in the Senate, but two of those three (Lynn Gattis and Craig Johnson) lost their Senate races in the primary. Shelley Hughes, who won her primary, faces Democratic and independent challengers in the general election.

In the House, five of the 35 remaining incumbents lost their primary races.

Jim Colver, a moderate Republican from Palmer, lost to George Rauscher, a more conservative Republican. In Bethel, Bob Herron — part of the Republican-led House Majority — lost to a more traditional Democrat, Zach Fansler, who received support from the state Democratic Party. Likewise, Westlake received extensive support in his bid to upset Nageak, who also backed the Republican-led majority.

In the Mat-Su, conservative Republican Wes Keller lost to David Eastman, a more moderate Republican. During the last legislative session, Keller sponsored a controversial measure that placed new regulations on teaching sex education in public schools.

In Anchorage, Republican Chris Birch upset incumbent Bob Lynn, the oldest sitting member of the House.

After Tuesday’s results, there will be seven new faces in the Legislature — and November’s primary election could increase that figure still.

Tuesday’s turnover comes after lawmakers failed to balance Alaska’s multibillion-dollar deficit, which was created by falling oil prices and incompletely addressed with spending cuts.

While voters appeared willing to vote out incumbents, they didn’t turn out in large numbers. Election-Day turnout was only 15.44 percent of registered voters. While that figure will rise as absentee and questioned ballots are counted, it will not be far above the record-low turnout of the 2000 primary election, when only 9.01 percent of registered Alaska voters participated.

In Juneau, turnout was even lower than the statewide average. In House District 33, which includes downtown Juneau as well as Haines and Skagway, turnout was 14.86 percent. That’s less than half the turnout of two years ago, when 35.94 percent of registered voters came out to vote on a primary election that featured a ballot measure on oil taxes. Turnout was above the record-low 11 percent Election-Day turnout recorded in the 2000 primary election, when the electoral borders were somewhat different and downtown Juneau voted as part of House District 3.

In House District 34, which covers the Mendenhall Valley and Auke Bay, turnout was 12.58 percent on Election Day. As with District 33, that figure is above the 2000 primary’s record-low figures, but much lower than normal and much lower than the statewide average.

Even Juneau’s most politically active precinct, Lynn Canal, saw turnout drop at its polling station in the ferry terminal. Election-Day turnout was just 19.28 percent, much less than half of the 45.38 percent turnout of 2014 and below even the 34.51 percent turnout of 2012.

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