The Juneau Assembly has committed $700,000 to convert a city warehouse into a ballot processing center.
The facility will support a permanent move to holding local elections by mail. Juneau did that for the first time in 2020 because of pandemic concerns, and will again for the election that begins this week and ends Oct. 5.
For now, Juneau’s election officials are relying on Anchorage for a secure facility and equipment to count ballots.
The local League of Women Voters supports the change. Marjorie Menzi with the league told the Assembly on Monday that last year’s by-mail election drew the highest voter turnout in 20 years.
“The league believes that success is identified in a democracy by citizen participation. We consider voting by mail a success in Juneau. Voting by mail is a secure and fraud-free method of voting. … Providing adequate funding for our most fundamental right seems a reasonable expenditure of public dollars.”
City officials expect the facility to be ready for next year’s local election.