About 210,000 ballots were mailed Tuesday for the April 5 municipal elections in Anchorage.
This year, voters will decide on five Assembly seats and two School Board seats, each with multiple candidates. Voters will also see several bond proposals on their ballots, including $45.6 million in city bond packages and a $111 million school district bond proposal.
Assembly members are chosen only by voters living in their district, while school board members are elected at-large, which means that all voters in Anchorage will see the full list of school board nominees on their ballots.
There are four incumbent Assembly members running against a slate, with seats up for grabs in District 3 – West Anchorage, District 4 – Midtown, District 5 – East Anchorage, District 6 – South Anchorage and District 2 – Eagle River, where there is no incumbent in the race.
Two outgoing school board members, including the current board chair, are running against multiple challengers.
Although Anchorage switched to a mail-in voting system in 2018, residents have several options for voting. Voters can also vote in person at any of the city’s three voting centers, send their ballot by mail, or request to vote by fax or email. The city also has 18 secure drop boxes open from Tuesday where voters can return their ballot until 8 p.m. on Election Day.
Mailed-in ballots must be postmarked on or before Election Day, and voters returning their ballot envelopes the day before or on Election Day should have a postal worker hand stamp the envelope with a postmark to ensure their ballot is counted.
Requests to vote by fax or email must be received at the City Clerk’s office no later than March 29 at 5:00 p.m. Call the voters hotline (907-243-8683) or email a nomination at [email protected] Voters who are temporarily away from home can request that a ballot be mailed to them where they are, but must complete an application to vote at a temporary address by March 29 at 5 p.m.
This year, the city is implementing a new ballot tracking system, so that Anchorage voters who register for the system at anchoragevotes.com can get automatic updates via text, email or phone call on the status of their ballot. Residents can also call the Voter Helpline at 907-243-8683 to find out if their ballot envelope has been received and processed.
Although the election team begins processing envelopes and ballots several days before Election Day, there will be no voting results until around 8:30 p.m. on Election Day – and those results will be preliminary.
Because ballots will continue to arrive at the electoral center in the mail after Election Day, counts will continue to change, perhaps until the day the Assembly certifies the vote. This is because a ballot from a foreign voter that is postmarked on or before election day can be received and counted until noon on the day the vote is certified.
Regular mail-in ballots will be accepted until the public canvassing session, which is scheduled for April 18, according to the election schedule.
The Anchorage Assembly is due to certify the results of the vote on April 26, according to the election schedule.
Voters who have recently moved and have not yet updated their address in the state’s voter registration database can call the Voter Helpline at 907-243-8683 to ask a ballot to a new address.
All three Anchorage voting centers will open for in-person voting on Monday, March 28. Locations are at City Hall, 632 West 6th Ave., Room #155; Downtown Eagle River, 12001 Business Blvd., Community Hall #170; and the Loussac Library, 3600 Denali Street, in the Assembly Chamber.
The Eagle River voting center will only have Chugiak-Eagle River ballots.
Voting center hours:
• 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays, from March 29 to April 4 and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday April 2.
• From 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday 3 April.
• 7:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. on Election Day, Tuesday, April 5.
Future: Conduct surveys of all applicants.