Beth McEwen, municipal clerk for the City and Borough of Juneau, holds a packet of forms in her office on Monday. The forms are ones candidates must complete to be added to the ballot for October’s municipal election. Candidates for the election must complete all filing steps by Monday, July 26 at 4:30 p.m. (Dana Zigmund / Juneau Empire)

Local election filing period now open

Candidates can file until July 26

If you’ve ever thought about running for a local office in the City or Borough of Juneau, this is the week to file the papers to put your name on the ballot for the October 5 municipal election.

By city charter, CBJ holds a municipal election on the first Tuesday of October each year. Candidates for the election must file with the City Clerk’s office by 4:30 p.m., on Monday, July 26. The filing period opened on July 16. If a candidate changes their mind after filing, they can withdraw their candidacy until July 30.

“At 4 p.m. on Monday we see lots of candidates walking in the door,” said Beth McEwen, CBJ’s municipal clerk, during an interview. Although she expected last-minute filings, she added that candidates who have been campaigning tend to come in earlier during the filing period.

McEwen said she doesn’t like to make predictions about how many candidates may file.

“There is no typical,” she said, adding that she believes 12 candidates in a school board race is the most she has seen file for an election. “I’m happy when we have a candidate in every race.”

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About the election

During this election, voters will elect a mayor, two assembly members and three school board members.

As candidates are certified, McEwen will update the list of official candidates online at juneau.org/clerk/clerk-certified-municipal-candidates-2021. A timestamp at the top of the page indicates when the list was last updated.

As of Friday afternoon, Mayor Beth Weldon had filed for a second term. Barbara Blake and Paul Kelly are officially Assembly District 1 candidates, and Elizabeth (Ebett) Siddon has filed for another term on the Board of Education.

Michelle Bonnet Hale said that she intends to file for a second term for the District 2 seat she currently holds. So far, she is the only District 2 candidate to announce a run in the October municipal election. Troy Wuyts-Smith has announced that he is a District 1 candidate. Both have filed their intention to run with the Alaska Public Offices Commission.

How to run

According to the clerk’s website, “CBJ Declaration of Candidacy Forms and Nominating Petitions are available in the Municipal Clerk’s office in City Hall and online atjuneau.org/clerk/elections.”

Candidates must collect signatures from 25 residents as part of the process.

McEwen encourages potential candidates to collect more than 25 signatures in case some are not valid. Eligible signers must live in Juneau and be registered to vote locally.

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To run for office, candidates must be “qualified voters of the City and Borough of Juneau, qualified to vote in state elections, a resident of the municipality for at least 30 days immediately preceding the election, registered to vote in state elections at a residence address within the municipality at least thirty days before the municipal election at which the person seeks to vote, and not disqualified under Article V of the Alaska Constitution,” according to the clerk’s website.

To run for a seat on the city assembly, candidates must be CBJ residents for at least one year immediately preceding the election to the office. Those running for District 1 and District 2 seats must reside in the district they hope to represent.

Completed forms must be notarized and submitted in paper form with original signatures before the deadline.

The election

The municipal election will be conducted primarily by mail. Voters must register or update voter information by Sept. 5 to receive a ballot in the mail.

McEwen said the election will be similar to the one held in 2020 with a few changes, including a local mailing destination for returned ballots and at least two in-person voting locations on election day.

Voters can register or update personal information on the Alaska Division of Elections website at www.elections.alaska.gov/Core/voterregistration.

• Contact reporter Dana Zigmund at dana.zigmund@juneauempire.com or 907-308-4891.

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