A “vote here” sign hangs duct taped outside of City Hall in October 2022. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire File)

A “vote here” sign hangs duct taped outside of City Hall in October 2022. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire File)

Final day to register to vote in upcoming city election is fast approaching

City officials share info and tips for this coming Oct. 3 municipal election.

With a large pool of candidates and a hot-button ballot measure set to appear on this year’s Oct. 3 municipal election ballot, City and Borough of Juneau officials are encouraging residents to register to vote or update necessary information as the deadline is fast approaching.

Next Sunday, Sept. 3, is the final day to register to vote before ballots get mailed out to voters on Sept. 14. Residents can register or update their address online through the Alaska Division of Elections, or in person at the city clerk’s office or city libraries.

The election will again be by-mail/hybrid, following an Assembly decision in late May when members voted to make vote-by-mail election the default in Juneau after using it for the past three years because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This year will also mark the second year the city will operate its new CBJ Ballot Processing Center.

City Clerk Beth McEwen said the decision to make by-mail/hybrid elections the default in Juneau is a major step to reach a broader spectrum of voters within the Juneau community.

“Many folks because of their work schedule, or whatever their timing constraints are, can’t make it to regular polling precincts on Election Day,” she said. “By-mail elections provide the opportunity for them to vote from the convenience of their home in their time as they have the time available to do that.”

On the ballot this year there are 14 people seeking four open Assembly seats and three people are seeking two open school board seats. If residents desire to file a “write-in” candidacy letter of intent, the last day to do so is Sept. 26. A proposed new City Hall project will also appear for the second year in a row after voters narrowly rejected it last election.

McEwen said the abundance of candidates this year is exciting.

“I’m really happy that we have a lot of candidates running for office — it means that people are watching and interested in what’s going on with their local governments, both in the Assembly and the school district races,” McEwen said. “I’m really happy to see that that’s garnered some interest and a good field of candidates.”

The four seats on the Assembly are to fill positions currently held by members Maria Gladziszewski (areawide), Alicia Hughes-Skandijs (District 1), Christine Woll (District 2) and recently resigned Carole Triem (areawide) whose seat is temporarily filled by previous Assembly member Loren Jones until the election.

Hughes-Skandijs and Woll are running for reelection as both are eligible for two additional three-year terms after their terms expire this October. However, Gladziszewski will term out of her position come October after serving three, three-year terms — the maximum allowed by the city. The two seats open on the school board are currently occupied by Martin Stepetin Sr. and Brian Holst. Unlike the Assembly, there is no term limit for school board positions. Stepetin did not file as a candidate and Holst rescinded his candidacy just days after filing in July.

McEwen said she encourages residents who plan to come to the vote centers either for assistance or to cast their ballot in person to not wait until Election Day to do so.

“If you don’t want to wait in line on Election Day you can avoid that because there’s generally no lines at the vote center two weeks prior to Election Day,” she said. “I would encourage people to go early to the vote centers to do that rather than waiting until Election Day.”

A list of this year’s candidates and more information about this year’s election can be found on the CBJ website City Clerk’s page under “Elections.”

Key times, dates and places

Election Day: Tuesday, Oct. 3. Vote centers open 7 a.m.-8 p.m.

Final day to register: Sunday, Sept. 3.

In-person registration: Municipal clerk’s office, all three Juneau public libraries, State of Alaska Division of Elections – Region I Office.

By-mail voting: Ballots will be mailed Sept. 14 to voters on file. Ballots can be returned to one of the two Juneau Vote Centers, to one of two secure drop boxes or via USPS. (Must be mailed no later than Election Day).

Vote Centers: City Hall Assembly Chambers, Mendenhall Valley Public Library. Varying hours.

Secure Ballot Drop Boxes: Auke Bay-Statter Harbor boat launch parking lot, Douglas Library/Fire Hall Community Building.

Temporary address voting applications: Must be received by the city clerk’s office no later than Sept. 26.

• Contact reporter Clarise Larson at clarise.larson@juneauempire.com or (651) 528-1807.

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