Ballots mailed as voting begins in Anchorage election
Ballots for Anchorage's April 2 municipal election were mailed to voters Tuesday morning.
According to Municipal Clerk Barbara Jones the city mailed out 216,300 ballot packages, 20,000 more than last year. Jones said that's because more people have registered to vote with the state, and local elections use the state voter database.
"There are more registered voters in their database than there were last year and there are probably fewer voters whose addresses are undeliverable," she said.
State Elections Director Gail Fenumiai said state voter rolls have grown considerably since March of 2017. That's when the state started registering people to vote automatically when they sign up for Permanent Fund dividends unless they choose to opt out.
"In 2017, there were 15,589 new registrations statewide (March PFD applicants only) as a result of the PFD automatic registration process. And in 2018 there were 30,499 (January – March PFD applicants)," Fenumiai wrote in an email.
Jones said registered Anchorage voters received postcards in the mail in January asking them to update their addresses with the state, and many of them complied. She's hopeful that will mean fewer undeliverable ballots this year.
This year's municipal election doesn't have a mayoral race, but it does include five Anchorage Assembly seats and two Anchorage School Board seats. There are school and municipal bonds, as well as a proposed 5 percent alcohol tax. Jones said it's important to vote and if people who are expecting a ballot don't receive one in a week or so, they should let the city know.
"They should give us a call at 243-VOTE (243-8683)," Jones said. "We can check the address that the ballot package was mailed and if there are any problems we can mail a replacement ballot package from the election center."
People have until April 2 to return their ballots either in the mail or at any of 16 dropoff boxes located around town. Jones said six accessible vote centers will open March 25. A complete list is posted on the muni's website.
Copyright 2019 KTVA. All rights reserved.