ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - Now that the city's first vote by mail results are certified, people are poring over the results to see how the new system affected different parts of town.
Tuesday evening the Anchorage Assembly certified the results of the city's first vote by mail election, in which 79,295 ballots were cast, according to the Municipal Clerk's Office.
Voter turnout was significantly higher than in 2017. The vote-by-mail election had voter turnout at 36.31 percent compared to 23.20 percent in 2017.
In Fairview, which traditionally has lower turnout, the vote numbers spiked dramatically. In 2017, 2,072 people were registered to vote and 7.72 percent did. This year 2,235 people were registered to vote, and 15.93 percent voted.
"From my preliminary investigation it looks we almost doubled the turnout in certain precincts in my neighborhood that have historically had really low turnout and are low income," Assemblyman Chris Constant, who represents Fairview and others parts of downtown, said. "If we've doubled the participation that's a great first step."
In one downtown precinct, near the Central Lutheran Church, voter participation went from 11.29 percent to 24.20 percent.
Barbara Jones the Anchorage Municipal Clerk, says before the April election there was a lot of voter outreach, including a partnership with the Anchorage School District, to ensure parents without full-time homes would get the message about the changes. There was also traditional meetings with community councils.
"We went to the senior centers, we went to rotary groups, so our outreach was really detailed and organized," Jones said. "We sent out 50,000 flyers through the Anchorage School District so that was where our focus was."