On Tuesday, Oct.5, residents of the City and Borough of Juneau will have a chance to weigh in on open city and school board positions. The election will be conducted primarily by mail.
Elections officials will mail ballots to all of Juneau’s registered voters on Sept. 14.
According to the city clerk’s website, to be eligible to vote in Juneau, residents must register 30 days before the municipal election—which means that Sunday, Sept. 5 is the deadline to register. Voters must also register name changes, address or mailing address changes by Sept. 5.
To register to vote, visit any of the following locations during regular office hours:
— State Division of Elections’ Office, 240 Main St., Room 601, Monday – Friday
— State Division of Elections – Region I Office, Mendenhall Mall, Monday – Friday
— Municipal Building, 155 S. Seward St., Clerk’s Office Room 202, Monday – Friday
— Any CBJ Library – check schedule for hours: https://juneau.org/library
Voters can check their registration status or apply online at https://myvoterinformation.alaska.gov/ or contact the State Division of Elections directly at 907-465-3021.
Election officials encourage residents who receive a ballot for a former resident to return it to the city marked that the addressee no longer lives there so that voter rolls may be updated.
In a July interview, City Clerk Beth McEwen said this year’s election will be similar to the one in 2020 with a few changes, including a local mailing destination for returned ballots and two in-person voting locations on election day.
Residents can drop their completed ballots off between Sept. 16 and Oct. 5. Drop boxes will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Voters will find a drop box outside the Douglas Library/Fire Hall Community Building located at 1016 3rd Street, Douglas.
Election officials will place a second box at the Auke Bay Don D. Statter Harbor boat launch parking lot (not the harbor office parking lot) located at 11801 Glacier Highway, Auke Bay.
Beginning on Sept. 20, voting centers will be available for early in-person voting, ballot replacement, or ballot drop-off. Locations include the City Hall Assembly Chambers, located at 155 S. Seward Street downtown, and the Mendenhall Valley Public Library, located at 3025 Dimond Park Loop. Hours for both sites vary and are available on the clerk’s web page at https://juneau.org/clerk/elections.
On election day, both vote centers will be open for in-person voting between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. Drop boxes will close at 8 p.m.
Results will be available a few days after the election, as members of the clerk’s staff will travel to Anchorage to count the ballots.
What’s on the ballot
Despite citizen-based efforts to add ballot questions earlier this summer, none advanced to the ballot.
However, the city will ask residents to weigh in on the 3% temporary sales tax for street maintenance and general city and borough operations. 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. It was last extended in Oct. 2016 and went into effect on July 1, 2017. If voters don’t approve an extension of the tax, it will expire on June 30, 2022.
Incumbent Mayor Beth Weldon is poised to serve another term as mayor, as she faces no competition on election day. Weldon would fill a second, three-year term in the mayor’s office.
In Assembly District 1, a three-person race is set with Paul Kelly, Barbara Blake and Troy Wuyts-Smith vying for the seat being vacated by longtime Assembly Member Loren Jones, who is barred from running again due to term limits.
Six official candidates have filed for three open seats on the school board, including current board president Elizabeth(Ebett) Siddon and newcomers Aaron Spratt, Thomas Buzard, Amber Frommherz and Ibn Bailey.
In addition, Wiljordon V. Sangster filed as a candidate and will appear on the ballot. However, he has provided no information about his candidacy. The Empire has made multiple attempts to reach him by phone, email and text.
Write-in candidate Ryan Scholl will not appear on the ballot but has been certified by the city clerk.
About write-in candidates
According to McEwen, write-in candidates must meet the same qualifications as other candidates, including length of residency and voter registration status. Write-in candidates must submit a letter of intent to the clerk’s office as part of the process of becoming a certified write-in candidate.
However, because the candidate did not complete the necessary paperwork before the filing deadline, the candidate’s name does not appear on the ballot.
Write-in votes are only counted if race results are close, using a threshold established by statute. If the race is not tight enough, write-in ballots are not counted.
• Contact reporter Dana Zigmund at firstname.lastname@example.org or 907-308-4891.