election day

Sabine Poux/KDLL

Incumbent Republicans are leading in local House and Senate races. That’s without the absentee ballots that the Alaska Division of Elections will start counting next week. There may be over 8,000 ballots in House Districts 29 and 30 alone.

For House District 29, which includes Sterling, Hope, Nikiski and the eastern peninsula, incumbent Ben Carpenter leads challenger Paul Dale by a margin of nearly three to one, a difference of 2,610 votes.

Carpenter is a Republican from Nikiski who was first elected in 2018. He said today he’s cautiously optimistic about the results. 

Sabine Poux/KDLL

It’s not uncommon on Election Day to spot a candidate waving signs on the corner of the Kenai Spur and Sterling highways. That’s where Greg Madden was camped out around noon today.

Madden, who’s running for Alaska Senate to represent District P, had voted at Soldotna Prep School an hour prior. He said it was neat getting to vote for himself.

"I’m not used to seeing my name on the ballot," he said. "But I was in a hurry to get back over here, so I didn’t stop and savor it too long. Just get it done and moving on.”

Sabine Poux/KDLL

With more people voting absentee than ever before, this cycle has been more of an election season than a singular Election Day.

And don’t hold your breath for a conclusive election night, either. Results won’t be finalized at least until Nov. 10, when the state begins counting all absentee and special needs ballots, said Tiffany Montemayor of the Division of Elections.

Jeffrey Meyers, an assistant professor of history and political science for Kenai Peninsula College, said the results we see tomorrow will likely skew more conservative than the final results. That’s in part because President Donald Trump has politicized absentee voting by falsely alleging it leads to voter fraud.