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Photos: Election Day in Alaska

Bob Bell at election central. Unofficial results show him trailing incumbent challenger Hollis French by 86 votes, with 100% of precincts reporting. November 6, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
Politicos watch election returns come in at election central. November 6, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
David Schwantes watches election returns come in at election central. November 6, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
Congressman Don Young greets supporters at election central after winning re-election. November 6, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
Supporters of President Obama listen to his victory speech at election central. November 6, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
Leslie Ridle, staffer for U.S. Senator Mark Begich, obsessively refreshing election results at the democratic party event. Behind her is state senator Hollis French. November 6, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
Randy Ruedrich, outgoing chairman of the Alaska Republican Party, being interviewed by TV news after news broke of President Obama's re-election. November 6, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
Susan Lutz, assistant city administrator for the city of Akutan, announces the news of President Obama's victory to the streets of Anchorage. November 6, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
Pollster Ivan Moore watches the national election returns in a hotel room on election night. November 6, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
First-time voter Jose Oualles and second-time voter Georgina Perez, both originally from the Dominican Republic, proudly displaying their "I Voted Today" stickers at Williwaw Elementary school. November 6, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
Amy Tullos fills out her ballot on the floor of Williwaw Elementary school, rather than waiting for an open booth. "I'm proud of who I voted for," she said when asked about the lack of privacy. November 6, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
A young Hmong man, who asked that his name not be used, helps his aunt vote at Williwaw Elementary school on election day. November 6, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
Republican Mia Costello waving signs in west Anchorage on election day. November 6, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
Democrat Hollis French waves signs on the corner of Jewel Lake and Raspberry on election day. November 6, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
Aoife Stout, 3 1/2 years old, peeks out from underneath a voting booth while her mom Kristine Stout votes. According to her mom, Aoife is a "super voter," having tagged along with her on every election since she was born. November 6, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
The Alaska Club West, a polling place for Spenard. November 6, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
Incumbent representative Les Gara works out at the Alaska Club West, a polling place (but not his polling place), on election day. November 6, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
An "I Voted Today!" sticker adorns a downtown Anchorage sidewalk on election day. November 6, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
Voters enter a downtown Anchorage polling place on election day. November 6, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
Bob Bell backers and supporters of his rival Hollis French wave signs in Spenard on the eve of the election. November 5, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
A Hollis French supporter jumps in the air to keep warm during sign waving on the eve of the election. November 5, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
Republican Bob Bell and supporters of his rival Hollis French wave signs in Spenard on the eve of the election. November 5, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
On Election Day 2012 at Williwaw Elementary School in Anchorage, Election worker Shirley Cordle uncovers the mysteries of the voting booth for second-graders.
Jill Burke photo
On Election Day 2012 at Williwaw Elementary School in Anchorage, Election worker Shirley Cordle uncovers the mysteries of the voting booth for second-graders.
Jill Burke photo
Republican state Senate candidate Bob Bell campaigns in Midtown Anchorage on Election Day, Nov. 6, 2012.
Jill Burke photo
State Sen. Hollis French, D-Anchorage, campaigns on Election Day, Nov. 6, 2012.
Jill Burke photo
The sock monkey, spotted during previous elections, campaigns for Alaska state Rep. Lindsey Holmes in South Anchorage on Nov. 6, 2012.
Jill Burke photo
On Election Day, Nov. 6, 2012, Republican Senate candidate Bob Roses stands next to a life-size cutout of himself (from his 2008 campaign) in East Anchorage.
Jill Burke photo
Republican state Senate candidate Bob Bell campaigns in Midtown Anchorage on Election Day, Nov. 6, 2012.
Jill Burke photo
State Sen. Hollis French, D-Anchorage, and supporters from the Alaska Correctional Officer's Association campaign on Election Day, Nov. 6, 2012.
Jill Burke photo
On Election Day, Nov. 6, 2012, Republican Senate candidate Bob Roses campaigns at the corner of Debarr and Boniface in Anchorage.
Jill Burke photo
Alaska voters voting early at the Anchorage city hall. November 5, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
Alaska voters voting early at the Division of Elections Region II office in Anchorage. November 5, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
3 week old Vaughn Dudukgian sleeps while his mom Sara Acharya votes early at the Division of Elections Region II office. November 5, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
Randy Ruedrich at the Alaska GOP's headquarters on Election Day, Nov. 6, 2012, his final election as chairman of the Alaska Republican Party.
Jill Burke photo
Jill Burke,Loren Holmes

Alaska's polls had not yet closed when many of the nation's media outlets began to call the U.S. presidential election for Barack Obama. They made the call as soon as polls closed for West Coast states -- California, Oregon and Washington – that historically vote Democratic. Alaska, predictably, will swing in Romney's direction, but it was too little, too late.

One Alaska Dispatch staffer noted that the mood was mellow at a party for Alaska Democrats at Snow City Café in Downtown Anchorage, but at least there was cheese.

READ MORE: Election night fall-out

Alaska poll results began rolling in a few minutes after 9 p.m. on the big screens at Election Central, with some early indicators of how the night might go for some candidates. Congressman for All Alaskans Don Young was headed to a 21st term in the U.S. House, that much was sure.

But closer to home, legislative races remained tight well into the late night. Because of a massive redistricting, all but one of the state's legislative seats are up for grabs. The shakeup has injected partisan-based, industry interests into the election process.

In a state reliant on crude to pay for government and a Republican governor working diligently to lower state oil taxes to promote new investment, oil industry supporters have backed Republican candidates in an effort to dismantle what they perceive as a road block: the 16-member bipartisan coalition of the state Senate, comprised of 10 Democrats and six Republicans.