Juneau’s municipal election is still two weeks away, but voters can now cast absentee ballots at two polling places in town.
Ballots are available at City Hall Assembly Chambers and in the Mendenhall Mall. Voting hours at the mall are 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. weekdays, and noon to 4 p.m. on weekends. City Hall voting hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., weekdays only through October 1st.
City Clerk Laurie Sica says any registered Juneau voter can cast an absentee ballot for any reason, and many people prefer it to voting on Election Day.
“It’s just convenient,” Sica says. “And they don’t forget then on Election Day or don’t put themselves in a bind and get to the poll by 8 o’ clock.”
In the past eight municipal elections, city records show between 13 and 15 percent of voters have cast absentee ballots. Sica says the city saw a big increase when it started offering early voting at the Mendenhall Mall about 10 years ago.
Absentee ballots are also available for mail-in and fax-in voting by contacting the clerk’s office.
While most regular ballots will be counted on Election Night, Sica says absentee ballots are always counted a few days later.
“We have to cross check to make sure that that person didn’t go to a poll on Election Day and cast a ballot there,” she says. “So, we do that cross check before we approve all the ballots that are absentee to be counted.”
Municipal Election Day is Tuesday October 2nd.
Juneau voters will choose a new mayor, two new assembly members, three school board members, and decide two ballot propositions that would fund capital projects for the next five years.
- Alaska U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski said she needs time to review a health care bill drafted by fellow Republicans to understand its effects.
- Advocacy group Alaska Trails sent a letter to let Gov. Bill Walker know that transportation funds are at risk. Alaska returned $2.6 million to the U.S. Department of Transportation last September.
- The Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association has been trying to move a majority of its net pens in the Tutka Bay Lagoon to the head of Tutka Bay for about four years. The hotly debated issue has led to packed community meetings and questions about the impact of raising fish in the area.
- A lot of science involves happy accidents. A retired scientist from Oregon stepped off the ferry in Sitka late last month, and on a hunch decided to look around the woods for an old friend.