The four ballot propositions that added uncertainty to the outcome of a local election that featured no contested candidate races are poised to provide uncertainty to the City and Borough of Juneau municipal election for at least a little bit longer.
Preliminary unofficial results released Tuesday night showed two propositions trending toward approval and two propositions facing a nearly 50-50 split among voters.
The vote for Proposition 1, which asked voters whether the city should issue $35 million in bond debt to build a new City Hall, was split almost exactly evenly. As of Tuesday evening, 2,376 yes votes had been counted compared to 2,415 no votes, according to preliminary results.
Proposition 2, which asked voters whether the city should issue $6.6 million in bond debt to make improvements to the track and field at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park, build a new public use cabin and maintain local trails was trending toward approval by a roughly 2-1 margin thanks to 3,222 votes for the prop and 1,583 votes against.
Proposition 3, which asked whether the city should extend a temporary 1% sales tax is similarly on track to receive the OK from voters via 3,394 votes in favor and 1,417 votes against.
Proposition 4, which asked voters whether the city should repeal an ordinance requiring the disclosure of the sales price of real property, also appears heading for an extremely close vote. Tuesday night’s results showed 2,404 votes for repeal and 2,377 against.
Meanwhile, with no competition on the ballot or certified write-in campaigns, incumbents seeking reelection to the Juneau School District Board of Education and City and Borough of Juneau are cruising toward victory, according to unofficial results.
On the Assembly side, uncontested candidates include Assembly members Carole Triem, Greg Smith and Wade Bryson. On the school board side, that means new terms for Emil Mackey and Deedie Sorensen.
The unofficial results shared Tuesday night reflect all ballots received through Oct. 1, according to the city. Another set of results will be posted on Friday, Oct. 7 and Oct. 14. The Canvass Review Board is expected to certify the election on Oct. 19.
Tuesday night marked the end of this year’s City and Borough of Juneau municipal election, and according to city officials, preliminary results would be soon to follow.
Thousands of voters cast their ballots by mail or dropbox throughout the past two week send in period, and steady floods of voters made their way to voter centers all throughout Election Day as well.
Beth McEwen, CBJ municipal clerk, said the city starts counting the votes and compiling preliminary results from the polls closed until Oct. 19. From then, she said the final certified results will be released on that day, and noted any results announced before then are unofficial and await examination by the Canvass Review Board.
This year also marked the first time a by-mail election was conducted entirely throughout Juneau. In the past by-mail elections, ballots — and city officials —were flown to Anchorage for counting. By the end of last week, McEwen said the city’s new ballot processing center located off of Thane Road had already processed nearly 4,000 ballots.
Robin Welling, who recently moved to Juneau from Sitka, was among the voters to cast ballots Tuesday morning at the Mendenhall Valley Public Library.
Welling said it was her first time voting in a Juneau municipal election.
“I just always welcome the opportunity to be locally engaged,” Welling said.
She said ballot propositions that impact investment in local infrastructure, especially trails, that could impact her quality of life were motivating factors too.
Election officials at the library said since around 10:30 a.m. there had been a steady flow of voters coming in and said there had only been a few 1o minute gap periods of a break in the stream. Bob Laurie, an election official, said as it hit afternoon time, they saw a typically one or two person line of people waiting to speak with an official.
Nearly 1,000 ballots had been cast at the valley library as of Monday, officials said, with 250 ballots cast on Monday.
“We expect double or better today,” said election official Bob Wostmann.
By 1 p.m. election officials Mendenhall Valley Public Library had issued around 75 ballots, according to election official Bob Laurie. He said he expected the number to pick up more as the day progressed.
Larry Silverly stopped by the voter center around 1:30 p.m. to cast his ballot and was met with a two-person line at the time.
“It’s a very important election, it’s important to vote,” he said to the Empire.
Archie Lee also was at the center casting his ballot, and said he wanted to make sure to vote and put his “two cents” in. He said he thinks it’s always important to participate in any election.
Shelly Mangusso, a poll worker at the City Hall voter center on Tuesday, said the first voters didn’t arrive to cast their ballots until around 7:30 a.m. but said since then there had been a steady flow of people coming to the center. Valley election officials reported a line of voters waiting for the center to open.
Mangusso said she expected Election Day to be the “big day” of the two weeks the vote centers have been open and noted the last two weeks were especially slow in the number of people that dropped by.
She said on Monday the election officials counted more than 100 ballots that were dropped off at the City Hall location.
• Contact reporter Clarise Larson at firstname.lastname@example.org or (651)-528-1807. Follow her on Twitter at @clariselarson. Ben Hohenstatt contributed reporting to this article.