Ballots for the April 4 regular Anchorage city election were mailed to voters on Tuesday.
More than half of the Anchorage Assembly’s 12 seats are up for election this year. Voters will choose from a slew of candidates and elect seven members.
Only two incumbents are running to keep their seats on the Assembly: Assembly Vice Chair Chris Constant of North Anchorage and member Felix Rivera of Midtown. That means the city will have at least five new Assembly members when election results are finalized.
Two current members, Chair Suzanne LaFrance of South Anchorage and member Austin Quinn-Davidson of West Anchorage, are not seeking another term.
Both East Anchorage seats are on the ballot this year. Former member Forrest Dunbar left his seat early after winning election to the Alaska Legislature. Member Pete Petersen has reached his three-term limit, so he can’t run this year.
Voters in the city’s five other districts — North Anchorage, West Anchorage, Midtown, South Anchorage and Eagle River/Chugiak — will each elect one member. Assembly members are chosen only by the voters living in their district.
In the Anchorage School Board races, two incumbents are each facing a challenger for the two seats up for grabs. School board members are elected at-large, so all Anchorage voters will see the both school board seats on their ballots.
Fourteen ballot propositions will also be decided by Anchorage voters this year, including a school bond.
Anchorage uses a vote-by-mail system, but residents have several other options for casting their ballots. Voters also can cast a ballot in-person at one of the city’s three vote centers. Additionally, they can place their ballot package in a secure drop box, mail in their ballot package or apply to vote by fax or email.
The city’s 18 secure drop boxes open starting Tuesday. Voters can return their ballots in a drop box up until 8 p.m. on election day.
Mailed-in ballots must be postmarked on or before election day, and voters who return their ballot envelopes the day before or on election day should ask a postal official to hand-stamp the envelope with a postmark to ensure their ballot is counted.
Anchorage Vote Centers open on March 27. One is downtown at City Hall, 632 West Sixth Ave., Room 105; another is in Midtown at Loussac Library, 3600 Denali St., in the Assembly chambers; and one is in Eagle River Town Center, 12001 Business Blvd., Community Room 170. The Eagle River vote center will have only Chugiak-Eagle River ballots.
The centers will be open on weekdays through April 3 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; on Saturday, April 1, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and on Sunday, April 2, from noon to 5 p.m. On election day, April 4, vote centers will open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.
Residents who want to vote by fax or email must apply with the Municipal Clerk’s Office. Applications should be submitted at least one week before election day by 5 p.m. Call the voter hotline (907-243-8683) or email for an application at Elections@AnchorageAK.Gov.
Voters who are temporarily away from home can apply to have a ballot mailed to them where they are, but must fill out an application to vote at a temporary address by 5 p.m. one week before election day.
Voters can find out if their ballot envelope has been received and processed using a ballot tracking system the city implemented last year. Those who sign up for the system at anchoragevotes.com can get automatic text, email or phone-call updates on the status of their ballot. Voters can also call the voter hotline at 907-243-8683 to find out if their ballot envelope has been received and processed.
Ballots will continue to arrive at the elections center by mail after election day, so tallies released on election day will be preliminary. The tallies will continue to change, possibly up until the day of certification by the Assembly.
Ballots that arrive by the Public Session of Canvass on April 20 will be counted. Results of the election are scheduled to be certified on April 25, according to the city’s election calendar.
Correction: Due to an error on the city’s election calendar, a previous version of this article incorrectly said to be counted, military and overseas ballots must arrive at the elections center by noon on April 25. Military and overseas ballots must arrive at the elections center by April 20′s Public Session of Canvass.