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Election 2014: Alaskans to Vote on State and National Races, Ballot Measures

Stickers proclaiming “Naliġaaniktuŋa!” or "I Voted!" in Iñupiaq, at the polls in Nome. Photo: Matthew F. Smith, KNOM.

Alaskans head to the polls today, Nov. 4, to vote on several races for state and national office—as well as three major ballot questions ranging from legal marijuana to minimum wage.

Polls open statewide at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.

At the state level, beyond various races in the state House and Senate, Alaskans will decide on the governor’s race.

Sean Parnell is seeking reelection as governor with running mate Dan Sullivan, the current mayor of Anchorage, as his lieutenant governor.

Opponents in the race include the high-profile unaffiliated ticket of independent candidate Bill Walker and his running mate, Democrat Byron Mallott. The two fused their campaigns several months ago and are running on a single ticket. Also seeking the governor’s job are Libertarian candidates Carolyn Clift and her running mate, Nome’s own Andrew C. Lee.

Nationally, seats in both he U.S. House and Senate are on the ballot.

In the U.S. Senate, Democrat Mark Begich seeks reelection against Republican challenger Dan Sullivan. Mark Fish is running as a Libertarian. There are no fewer than five other declared candidates across a variety of political affiliations.

For the U.S. House, longtime Republican Representative Don Young seeks his 22nd term, facing Democratic newcomer Forrest Dunbar and Libertarian candidate Jim McDermott. Several other candidates have also filed as well.

Outside the big questions of “who,” voters will also face three big questions of “yes” or “no” on major ballot initiatives.

Ballot Measure 2 asks voters to approve or reject a batch of new laws that would legalize the use, sale, and cultivation of marijuana in Alaska for adults over the age of 21. Ballot Measure 3 seeks to increase Alaska’s minimum wage—currently $7.75 an hour—by a dollar per year for the next two years, and keep the wage rising with inflation. Ballot Measure 4—if passed—would require any kind of mining interest in Bristol Bay to seek the state legislature’s approval before moving forward.

In House District 39—covering much of the Bering Strait and Norton Sound—Democratic incumbent Neal Foster is running unopposed. Similarly, Senate District T has Democrat Donny Olson, also seeking reelection and also running unopposed.

KNOM will have live results on the air at 10 p.m. tonight, as well as updates online as they become available.