Thursday, October 02, 2014

224,448 Of Anchorage's 216,038 Voting Age Population (or 103%) Are Registered To Vote

Yes, go back and read that title carefully.

Anchorage's 2010 census data show 291,826 people.  Of those 75,788 are under 18 years of age.

That leaves 218,038 people old enough to vote.  103% of them are registered to vote.

The Alaska's Division of Elections has 224,448 of them registered* to vote. 

That comes to just under 103% of eligible voters are registered.  I didn't intend to write a post on this, but the numbers popped out at me when I was working on another post.  I've already written two posts - one in 2008 on Anchorage voter registration and one in 2010 on Alaska voter registration - that makes this same point.

Nationally, about 71% of the voter age population is registered to vote. So, Alaska is really high.  [At the link you have to do the math yourself - it gives 206,072,000 Americans eligible to vote and 146,311,000 actually registered.]  

As I said in the earlier posts, Alaska has a lot of transients and keeping track of people who move away and don't notify the Division of Elections isn't easy.  Division of Elections will tell you they purge the lists of people who haven't vote for four or five years and they check against names of people registered in other states.  Furthermore,  some people notify them when a relative has died or left the state.

But when you have more people registered than you have actual people eligible to vote, there's something wrong.  And it leaves an inviting hole in the system should anyone be looking for some phantom voters for their candidate or issue.  

I don't think there's any hanky panky going on here.  I think no one has taken this issue seriously and looked for more aggressive ways to purge the rolls.  And such purging needs to be done carefully, not in a way that will knock legitimate voters off the record books. 


For the sticklers out there, I'm using 2010 census data and 2014 voter registration data.  So there are surely more people in Alaska since the census.  But I didn't count the over 5,000 registered voters in District 12 who live in Peters Creek and Eklutna (in a district otherwise in Mat-Su.)

*Actually, the Division of Elections doesn't split out data by cities or boroughs.  They offer data by Party and Precinct (with district totals), by Age, and Voter History.

Voter Registration Data Options on Division of Elections website
I called and told them this was all I could find and was there an easier way to get the Anchorage data.  The email I got back sent me back to this page.  So I went through Statistics by Party and Precinct and added up the totals for the Anchorage districts (Districts 13 - 28), which came to 224,448.  There may be some adding errors, but nothing serious enough to negate the basic point - that we have a large number of people on the registered voter list who no longer live in Alaska. 

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