I talked to Division of Elections Director Gail Fenumiai earlier today. She said that what she’s hearing is that turnout is about average, which could mean a lot of things. Here’s what average means in Alaska in the last two primary cycles when there’s been a Senate race.
In 2010 Joe Miller challenged incumbent Lisa Murkowski. Scott McAdams was the Democratic candidate. A total of 164,047 Alaskans voted out of a total of 487,456 registered voters. That’s about 34 percent of the vote. About 36,000 of those primary voters chose the open ballot, which allows all voters regardless of party affiliation, to vote for candidates of any party except for Republicans. 109,650 voted Republican.
In 2008, Mark Begich was challenging the incumbent Ted Stevens. A total of 193,533 Alaskans voted out of a total of 476,472 registered voters. That’s about 40.62 percent of all registered voters. 75,783 people took the open ballot, and 105,326 chose the Republican ballot.