(KFSK file photo)

Because of the large number of people voting absentee this year, there’s no way to tell preferences of voters in the Petersburg-Kupreanof precinct for the November 3rd general election.

The state’s Division of Elections says absentee ballots are returned to the division without any distinction for the precinct, only for House district and that’s how they’re reported. That means people who voted by absentee in Petersburg are reported in a group along with the rest of the House district, including Sitka, most of Prince of Wales Island and other small communities in Southeast.

More than half of the ballots cast this year in House district 35 were absentee, 57 percent, or 5,846 votes from a total of 10,207.

The House district supported Joe Biden for president over Donald Trump by a narrow margin, or 242 votes. Voters in the district also backed Al Gross for U.S. Senator over Dan Sullivan but by a bigger margin, 615 votes. They also went for challenger Alyse Galvin over incumbent Congressman Don Young by a similar margin, 677 votes.

The division does provide precinct counts for ballots cast in-person on election day, not including any absentee. On election day, voters in the Petersburg precinct supported Trump for president over Biden, 508-161. And in-person voting at Petersburg’s precinct backed Sullivan, Young and state House challenger Kenny Karl Skaflestad. Again, that does not factor in any absentee votes from Petersburg.

The in-person voting in Petersburg was also against both ballot measures. Factor in the absentee voting and the House district supported both.

Overall turnout in the House district was 64.74%. Petersburg’s in-person turnout on election day was 23.88%, but again that does not include any of the absentee voting from this community.