As Juneauties review the first batch of preliminary, unofficial election results, one thing is for sure — Beth Weldon will preside as mayor of the capital city.
Weldon ran unopposed during the City and Borough of Juneau’s municipal election cycle, gliding toward a second term during an election season that included fierce competition for two open city Assembly seats and three open positions on the Juneau School District Board of Education.
As of about 7 p.m., Friday, City Clerk Beth McEwen said that about 40% of the ballots have been processed and counted.
McEwen said that counting will resume Monday, Oct. 11 and more results will be posted as they are available, but the most-recent results show:
Juneau’s 3% temporary sales tax for street maintenance and general city and borough operations likely will stand.
Voters are poised to approve the extension with 4,552 votes counted. So far, there are 3,560 yes votes and 885 no votes on the measure.
The 3% sales tax, which is a portion of the 5% the city collects on most transactions, must be reapproved by voters every five years. This means the tax likely will not expire on June 30, 2022.
City Assembly winners
Election officials are still counting votes for the two open City Assembly seats, with competitive races in both districts.
In District 2, incumbent Assembly Member Michelle Bonnet Hale looks set to secure a second, three-year term on the CBJ Assembly, with 3,017 votes.
Newcomer Kelly Fishler hopes to unseat her and so far has 1,239 votes.
In Assembly District 1, a three-person race is looking good for Barbara Blake, who is the Director of the Alaska Native Policy Center. She currently has 2,516 votes.
Other candidates include outgoing school board member Paul Kelly, with 1,164 votes, and first-time candidate Troy Wuyts-Smith, who currently has 447 votes.
The winner will step into the seat vacated by longtime Assembly member Loren Jones, who is barred from running again due to term limits.
School board winners
This campaign season, the race to fill three open school board seats has been lively, attracting six official candidates and two write-in candidates.
Current board president Elizabeth Siddon is in the top spot with 3,173 votes.
Newcomers Amber Frommherz and Ibn Bailey are trending in the second and third spot with 2,894 votes and 1,269 votes, respectively.
Other first-time candidates fill out the next three spots. Aaron Spratt has 993 votes, Thomas Buzard has 799 votes and Wiljordon V. Sangster has 595 votes, according to results released Friday evening.
Write-in candidates Kyle Scholl and Will Muldoon did not appear on the ballot but have been certified by the city clerk and are eligible to win. However, at this time, write-in votes have not been tabulated.
Juneau’s ballots are counted in Anchorage because Juneau does not have the equipment needed to count votes locally. However, a new ballot counting center is in the works and should be ready for next year’s election.
The canvass review board will convene on Oct. 19 to certify the election results. However, McEwen noted that city rules allow the meeting to be delayed by a day-at-a-time if needed.
During the city’s first vote-by-mail election last October, voters sent back nearly 12,000 ballots, representing a turnout of about 43% —the largest voter turnout since 2000. With 40% of the vote counted, and 4,552 votes tallied, turnout is trending toward 11,400 votes.