With 90 percent of precincts reporting, it appears that 58 percent of Anchorage voters rejected Proposition Five a measure that would have ensured protections for LGBT people.
According to the Anchorage Daily News, the “equal rights ordinance that was far and away the most controversial and emotional component of this spring’s election.”
The Daily News writes that it was a chaotic election, and that neither side of the Prop 5 debate has conceded defeat:
An unexpectedly high turnout, with some polling places running out of ballots, resulted in a large number of votes that might be on “questioned” ballots, which have to be counted by hand. The final results may be days or longer away, said municipal clerk Barbara Gruenstein.
Reports began circulating late in the day Tuesday that some precincts were running out of ballots because of heavy turnout. By 7 p.m.—an hour before polls were to close—lines were long at many polling places and extra ballots were being rushed to precincts that had run out.
The New York Times says it was strange for so much national attention be paid to a measure in a small city with a population of just 300,000:
The vote followed an unusually loud and expensive campaign for a city ballot measure in Anchorage. The organizers of Proposition 5, a group called One Anchorage, included prominent politicians from both sides of the aisle (Alaska’s United States senators, Lisa Murkowski, a Republican, and Mark Begich, a Democrat, both said they supported it) and the group outspent the opposition more than 4 to 1.
One Anchorage, which had raised about $340,000 as of last week, received some of its support from outside the state, including a $25,000 donation from Tim Gill, a Colorado billionaire who has given generously to gay causes. Opposition was led by conservative religious leaders in Alaska, including within the Catholic Church, and was financed largely by one source, the Anchorage Baptist Temple and its leader, the Rev. Jerry Prevo.
Queerty is holding out hope that the Yes on Prop 5 side comes out with the extra votes they need in the recount. In a small election such as this, it’s not inconceivable. Plus, a lot of the people who voted no on the measure were told that they could register on the same day, which is incorrect (you need to register 30 days prior), so many of those votes could get invalidated.
News flash for Michael Weinstein — if you want to put the rights of others up to a plebiscite, be prepared to have gay rights put up to a plebiscite. I promise, you will not like the result. Hey, Brian Chase — I KNOW you know I’m right.