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$20,000 will go to Bristol Bay communities with high voter turnout this election

181106 Sally and Bryan Reed
Izzy Ross
A throwback to the 2018 midterm elections: Sally and Bryan Reed paused after voting to pose with their child for a photo outside of Dillingham City Hall. Nov. 6, 2018.

The United Tribes of Bristol Bay, a consortium of 15 Tribes in the region, is encouraging local communities to turn out in the 2022 midterm elections with cash prizes for schools and cultural programs.

A total of $20,000 will go to Bristol Bay communities with high turnout in next week’s election. If a winning community doesn’t have a school, the money will be given to its Tribe to support a cultural program.

The contest is not affiliated with any candidate or political party. Instead, it’s about getting people to exercise their right to vote, said Executive Director Alannah Hurley.

“This is not about who you vote for. It’s about people showing up to the polls and voting their values, whomever that may be for," she said. "This is about you using your power and your voice, getting our people out to vote so we are helping determine our own futures.”

There are two contest categories. One is for the highest voter turnout overall. The other is the biggest increase in turnout compared to the 2018 midterm elections. There are four prizes in each category: the first place prize is $5,000; second place is $2,500; third place is $1,500; and fourth place is $1,000.

“This is money that can be infused into our schools, into cultural programming," Hurley said. "It doesn’t matter if your community is big or small. All of our communities are eligible to win.Community entities or schools don’t have to do anything to enter. All we have to focus on is getting our communities out to vote.”

Winners will be announced by the end of the year. Election day is next Tuesday, Nov. 8.

Get in touch with the author at izzy@kdlg.org or 907-842-2200.

Izzy Ross is the news director at KDLG, the NPR member station in Dillingham. She reports, edits, and hosts stories from around the Bristol Bay region, and collaborates with other radio stations across the state.