ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - Update - April 4, 2018:
The Municipality of Anchorage finished its second day of counting ballots, and Proposition 10 continues to lean towards passing. By Wednesday evening, 37,870 votes were for the sale of ML&P, while 18,939 votes were against the sale.
Since Tuesday, the gap between the votes widened. The difference changed from 17,138 to 18,931.
Early batches of voter results indicate that Proposition 10, which would authorize the sale of Municipal Light and Power, is on its way to passing. According to MOA as of Tuesday evening, there were 33,031 votes in favor of the sale, and 15,893 votes against the sale.
Moreover, MOA reports that 48,924 votes were tallied towards this measure. That makes up 22.4 percent of this election's total registered voters.
If this proposal passes, then it would approve a $1 billion acquisition deal of ML&P to Chugach Electric.
Initially, Chugach would pay a lump sum total of $712 million to cover ML&P's debt and equity. Then over the next 30 years, an additional $170.3 million would be paid as an acquisition payment along with $142.1 million in place of taxes.
Voters in favor of the deal say that the sale will be good for both employees and residents of Anchorage. Meanwhile, opponents say that the deal could result in utility rate increases for local residents. People who voted "no" also asked for more time and information, in order to make a decision.
According to Julie Hasquet, a spokesperson for CEA, she was pleased with the preliminary numbers.
"It looks good at this point – that's a pretty big gap," Hasquet told Channel 2 News at Tuesday's Election Central. "You never want to say, 'it's over,' until it's over. But those are really good, positive numbers. I'm feeling pretty happy."
This deal has been in the works for the past 30 years, and Hasquet says that interest rates made a big difference this time.
"You had a willing seller, a willing buyer – interest rates were good," she said. "A lot of things just came together. In the past, there's been different bumps in the road for various reasons."