by Phillip Manning ~ October 6th, 2015
After hours of counting and waiting for results after Talkeetna’s AccuVote machine failed, the preliminary results of the Mat-Su Borough election came in just after 11:00 p.m. on Tuesday.
The most-watched race is for Mat-Su Borough Mayor. Incumbent Larry DeVilbiss trailed challenger Vern Halter by 179 votes out of nearly 9,000 total votes cast as of Tuesday night. Halter’s lead was padded by over 100 votes after Talkeetna’s ballots were counted.
Three borough assembly seats are up for grabs as well, including District 7, which represents the Upper Valley. Doyle Holmes currently holds a lead of fifty-two votes, despite Talkeetna’s delayed ballots giving opponent Randall Kowalke a significant boost.
Debby Retherford and Sarah Welton both ran unopposed for Mat-Su School Board seats A and B, respectively, and late write-in campaigns fell well short of defeating them. Seat E was contested, with Kelsey Trimmer holding more than a 300 vote lead on opponent Wade Long after Tuesday’s votes were counted.
Proposition B-1, which would change school board seats to geographic regions as opposed to at-large positions is very likely to pass, with the ‘yes’ votes holding more than a two-to-one advantage as of Tuesday night.
Proposition B-2 would change the Mat-Su Borough’s general election date from October to November. After Tuesday, the ‘no’ votes held a lead of over 750 votes.
The final ballot question was posed only to residents of Downtown and East Talkeetna, and asked whether East Talkeetna and the river subdivision should be added to the existing Talkeetna Flood Service area. Both areas voted separately, and both votes have to pass for the annexation to take place. Tuesday’s results make it very likely that the question will pass.
Over 2,000 absentee and questioned ballots remain to be counted, and the official results will be announced after they are certified by the Mat-Su Borough Assembly on October 20th.