The number of registered voters in Juneau for this year’s municipal election — currently underway — came in “almost identical” to last year’s count, City Clerk Beth McEwen said Friday morning.
A total of 27,767 people — in a city with 31,534 residents — were registered to vote as of the Sept. 3 deadline. Last year’s voter turnout was 9,137 — just under 33% of the 27,797 registered voters in Juneau.
McEwen said it’s hard to say how many voters will turn out this year.
“People get added, people get removed and it’s not uncommon that it’s very close to what it was the year before, depending on how many people come and go,” she said.
This election is the third year CBJ has conducted a by-mail/hybrid election and it also marks the second year the city is operating its new Ballot Processing Center. So far ballots are starting to come in and processing is going smoothly, McEwen said.
“We’ve had a little over 1,100 ballots that have been processed at the center so far,” McEwen said. “They’re dynamic, so we’re running and reviewing ballots by the hour, and it’s a constantly changing number.”
The city voting centers are currently open and began accepting ballots two full weeks prior to Election Day. Voters also have the option to mail in their ballots, drop off their ballots at one of the secure Ballot Drop Boxes located across town, or vote on Election Day. McEwen said election officials at the voting centers shared with her that it appears to be less busy this year than last year.
McEwen said last year about a third of the total voters chose the by-mail option, while another third chose the drop box option and another third voted at one of the vote centers.
“I think I’m seeing similar patterns to last year,” she said.
McEwen encouraged residents to reach out to the city with any questions or concerns about voting. She said if a voter receives a cure letter in the mail, which notifies voters there is a problem with their ballot, she encourages responding to it as soon as possible so officials can make sure the ballot can be counted.
Lines at the voting centers can also get long on Election Day. McEwen said dropping off ballots at the center in days before then can help avoid that.
Key times, dates and places for Juneau’s 2023 local election
Election Day: Tuesday, Oct. 3. Vote centers open 7 a.m.-8 p.m.
Final day to register: Sunday, Sept. 3.
By-mail voting: Ballots were 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or (651) 528-1807.