West Anchorage voters are returning their ballot packages for the municipal special election at about the same rate as they did in the April city-wide election, according to Acting Municipal Clerk Amy Solberg.

Solberg said the city mailed out 36,000 ballot packages in mid-July to voters in District 3 to elect a new assembly member to replace Tim Steele, who resigned because of health concerns. As of Tuesday, roughly 4000 had been returned. Solberg said that echoes the pattern of the earlier election.

"In the April election, we had a big turnout in the very beginning and then it started to go down, and near the end, we had a lot of ballots coming in. So, I think we are going to be having the same effect," she said.

Solberg said there seems to be a little confusion with some voters about how to vote. It's a distinction between the municipal election and the state primaries that are coming up later in August. Solberg said comes down to vote-by-mail for the muni and polling places for the state.

"The state election and the municipal election are two different election styles," said Solberg. "The municipal election is by mail, so you have three different ways to turn in your ballot package, and the state election is just a polling location style. So, for the state, they can only go to their polling station, and for the municipal election, they have to vote by mail."

Voters have exactly a week before the August 7 deadline to return their ballots for a new assembly member. Solberg said ballots that are mailed must be postmarked by midnight on that date. Voters can also use any of six drop boxes that will be open until 8 p.m. on election day. They may also vote in person at the accessible voting center at the Ship Creek Election Center. Hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on election day, Tuesday, August 7.

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