Early absentee voting in Anchorage's April 4 city election starts at City Hall and the Loussac Library on Monday.
The polls are open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at City Hall, and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the library. Early voting is aimed at voters who can't easily make it to the polls on Election Day, but it has grown in popularity with all voters.
Six Anchorage Assembly races are underway, one in each district. There are also two open Anchorage School Board seats.
Voters are being asked to decide on bond money for schools, roads, parks and police and fire services. Two propositions are also on the ballot. Proposition 7 would extend the size of the city's taxing area for parks and recreation to the entire Anchorage Hillside; Proposition 8 would repeal an ordinance designed to dramatically increase the city's pool of taxi permits.
Voters in communities along Turnagain Arm — including Indian, Rainbow, Bird Creek and Portage Valley — will receive a special election ballot to decide whether to tax themselves for police protection. Girdwood voters will also receive a special election ballot with a question about expanding the community's taxing area to pay for repairs to the popular hand tram at Winner Creek, among other needs.
In all, the city is printing 42 ballots, and all will be available at the early voting locations.
The proportion of Anchorage voters who cast ballots early has grown significantly in recent years, said deputy city clerk Amanda Moser. She said that's in part because of more intensive efforts by elections officials to advertise the option of voting early.
A number of organizations — including the environmental advocacy nonprofit The Alaska Center, the ACLU of Alaska, the Alaska AFL-CIO, the Anchorage Park Foundation, Get Out The Native Vote and Planned Parenthood Northwest — were planning a rally and march in downtown Anchorage Monday to mark the start of early voting.
Early voting for Chugiak-Eagle River voters starts in the Chugiak-Eagle River senior center on March 27.
Another deadline to know: The last day to request a ballot by mail from the city clerk's office is March 28.