What Can A Few Votes Do?

It’s estimated that Alaska Native people constitute 14 percent of the statewide adult population. If all Native people voted during a normal turnout year (in which 55 percent of non-Natives voted), approximately 25 percent of the electorate at the polls would be Native.

This voting bloc could be more powerful than the Republican vote (24 percent), the Democratic vote (16 percent), and the non-partisan vote (14 percent) in Alaska.

One vote can make all the difference! According to the Division of Elections, the following examples are occurrences when the votes of a few people made all the difference:

  • 1845 – ONE vote brought Texas into the Union.
  • 1868 – ONE vote saved President Andrew Johnson from impeachment.
  • 1876 – ONE vote gave Rutherford Hayes the presidency of the U.S.
  • 1960 – ONE vote per precinct elected John F. Kennedy president.
  • 1978 – Jay Hammond won the nomination for governor over Walter Hickel in the primary election by just 98 votes statewide.
  • 1978 – ONE vote elected Tim Kelly to his Senate seat in District F.
  • 1982 – TWO votes gave the nomination for State Senate in District J to David McCracken in the primary election.
  • 1984 – ONE vote gave Mary Ratcliff the nomination for State Representative of House District 12 in the primary election.
  • 1986 – 17 votes (less than one vote per precinct) elected Rick Uehling Senator from District H, Seat B, out of 14,389 votes cast.
  • 1992 – FIVE votes (less than one vote per precinct) gave Al Vezey the nomination for State Representative of House District 32 in the primary election.
  • 1994 – 1.1 votes per precinct elected Tony Knowles as Governor and Fran Ulmer as Lt.Governor out of 216,668 votes cast in the general election.
  • 1996 – ONE vote gave Ann Spohnholz the nomination for State Representative of House District 21 in the primary election.
  • 1998 – A TIE was broken by a flip of the coin to elect Wayne Morgan after a runoff election for a school board seat in the Kuspuk School District.
  • 1999 – A TIE was broken by a flip of the coin to elect Larry Wilson to a school board seat in the Bering Strait School District.