It’s the last day to vote in Juneau’s municipal election — here’s what locals had to say

Victoria Stickle hands her ballot to election worker Larae Jones at the city hall vote center on Oct. 4, 2022 in Juneau, Alaska. (Photo by Tasha Elizarde/KTOO)

Voting in Juneau’s local by-mail election wraps up on Tuesday, but results won’t be final for a few weeks.

Ballots must be returned by 8 p.m. on Tuesday. They can be placed in one of the ballot dropboxes at the Douglas Library or Statter Harbor parking lot in Auke Bay, or returned in person to the vote center at the Mendenhall Library or City Hall downtown. 

Mailed ballots must be postmarked by the end of the day. 

Last year, more than 700 ballots were rejected – many of them showed up after election day without a postmark.  

This year, some voters opted to bypass the machine processing and had their mail-in ballot stamped in front of them, a process called hand-cancellation. 

“I did hand-cancel [some] to further put a date on it,” said Kelsey Riker, who was working at downtown gift shop and post office Kindred Post on Tuesday. “But there are also folks who just hand it off and have trust that it will go out today — which it will — at 4:30 p.m.”

This is Juneau’s third by-mail election, but the first where ballots will be processed entirely within the borough. In 2020 and 2021, ballots were sent to Anchorage and processed in the municipal processing center there. 

With a largely uncontested election and four propositions on the ballot, some voters weren’t enthused. 

“I felt strongly on proposition four, but the others were more of a ‘no, no, yes, yes’ sort of thing,” local resident Victoria Stickel said. “I also wasn’t thrilled that there weren’t choices.”

All three assembly members ran unopposed, as well as the two candidates running for the two school board seats.

“There basically was just one person running — not that I have time to do it and I have no criticism for that — but I would have loved to have had a choice of who to vote for, aside from writing in a name,” Stickel said.

Even with a rather unexciting election, some voters still expressed their gratitude for this election day.

“We had a voter come in who dropped off zucchini bread for other voters and wanted to show appreciation for us,” said Larae Jones, a poll worker at Juneau’s city hall. 

The city had already processed more than 4,000 ballots at the new ballot processing center off Thane Road by last Friday. 

The city will publish preliminary results on its website Tuesday night. Election staff will continue processing ballots and publish updated results again this Friday and next Friday.  The canvas review board plans to certify election results on Wednesday, Oct. 19.

Still need to cast your ballot? KTOO’s Juneau Elections guide has candidate profiles and explanations of the ballot measures.

This story has been updated. 

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