In preliminary ballot counts following Tuesday’s Anchorage municipal elections, all bond proposals appear likely to pass, along with all but one ballot measure put before voters.
Election officials tallied 30,313 ballots on Tuesday and nearly 3,000 more the next day. The 33,309 ballots counted by Wednesday night represent just over 14% of registered voters. It is not yet clear how many ballots are outstanding, either because they have yet to be processed by municipal election officials or are still arriving through the mail. Last year, citywide, turnout was 30% in the April elections, which is in line with historical norms in Anchorage.
But returns from the first batches of ballots show ballot propositions winning approval by large margins.
Proposition 1, a $37,787,000 bond for capital projects at Anchorage School District facilities, had a roughly nine-point lead in “yes” votes. The bond package is focused on funding school security upgrades and roof replacements.
The proposal is significantly smaller than last year’s failed $111 million school bond, and also marks a return to the district bonding on an annual cycle instead of its previous two-year cycle.
All the other area-wide bond proposals — including for public safety, fire protection, infrastructure as well as parks and recreation — appeared on course to pass, in some cases by wide margins. The roads and drainage bonding proposal, for example, currently has a nearly 24-point advantage.
Other ballot measures unrelated to bonds, including several technical changes to the city’s charter, also appear likely to pass.
• Proposition 6, which would create a new service area to finance upgrades to infrastructure around popular Chugach State Park access points, has a 60% approval rate, with less than 40% of voters opposed. The measure is a mostly technical mechanism for potential future bonds and grants to do things like expand parking lots and roadways heading to some of the state’s most heavily used hiking and recreational trails.
• Proposition 11, a charter amendment, switches the fiduciary responsibility of the $400 million Municipality of Anchorage Trust fund from the city’s treasurer to a board, and is on track for approval by roughly the same margin.
• Proposition 12, a measure aimed at providing tax relief to property owners in the city, received 74% approval. The proposal follows state legislation that went into effect in 2022, and allows Anchorage homeowners to take up to 40% of the home’s value up to $75,000, an increase above the $50,000 cap currently in place.
• Proposition 13 changes how the city holds special elections if an Assembly member or mayor leaves office before their term. That measure is the only one that appears headed for defeat, with 52% of voters opposed, and 48% in favor.
• Proposition 14, which would dedicate the cannabis sales taxes collected by the city to helping address Anchorage’s lack of child care, was solidly ahead Tuesday night, with 57% approval.
Several other ballot propositions are specific to service areas in outlying parts of the municipality.
Ballots will continue to be processed by the municipal clerk’s office in the days ahead, with results coming into clearer focus by week’s end, though not set to be certified for another two weeks.