Anchorage election filing season starts

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It’s election season in Anchorage again, and soon the office of the mayor and several Assembly seats and School Board positions will appear on the April 2 ballot, which will go in the mail to voters eligible and ineligible — in mid-March.

Although no candidate can officially file until Friday, Jan. 12 at 8 am, several candidates have already filed candidate registration documents at the Alaska Public Offices Commission, which regulates campaign fundraising, expenditures, and speech during state and local elections.

Those who have already filed with APOC for mayor include incumbent Mayor Dave Bronson, Chris Tuck, Bill Popp, Suzanne LaFrance, Dustin Darden, and Darin Colby.

For Eagle River’s seat on the Assembly, Cody Anderson and Mark Littlefield have filed; Assemblyman Kevin Cross has decided to leave the Assembly early and this will be considered a special election to complete his final year.

For School Board, candidates who registered with APOC include incumbents Pat Higgins, Dora Wilson, and Carl Jacobs. Also filed is Kay Schuster.

Candidates will have until Friday, Jan. 26 at 5 p.m. to file their official declarations at the Anchorage Clerk’s Office at City Hall, 632 W. 6th Avenue, Suite 250, Anchorage, Alaska 99501, or at the city’s Election Center, Election Center, 619 E. Ship Creek Avenue, Door D Entrance, Anchorage, Alaska 99501.

On Thursday, Jan. 11, the public is invited to witness the random drawing of letters of the alphabet, which will determine the order candidates’ names will appear on the 2024 Regular Municipal Election ballot. That event will take place at the Election Center (619 E. Ship Creek Avenue, Door D), at 1 pm.

Voters will be sent their ballot package in the mail at least 21 days before Election Day, which is around March 13. They are typically mailed from Washington State after being printed there. Voters may return their voted ballot to one of 18 drop boxes, to an Anchorage Vote Center, or by mail with first-class postage. 

In addition to the seats noted above, there will be several bond issues that the Assembly will ask voters to fund through their property taxes. And there will be seats on several boards for road service areas across the municipality.

The cost of the annual election in Anchorage is substantial. It doubled after the Assembly ordered the city to use vote-by-mail.

In December, the Anchorage Assembly approved spending more than $61,000 of taxpayer money with the Anchorage Daily News to advertise the upcoming election in a sole-source contract.

The Assembly also had approved spending $86,283 with the League of Women Voters to produce election material.

In addition to the more than $1 million it will cost the municipality to run the all-mail election, the Assembly in November approved another $350,000 for the expected runoff in the mayor’s race, which will take place later in April if no candidate wins more than 45% of the vote on the first ballot.

The Municipal Clerk’s budget for 2024 is over $4 million. Anchorage has about 235,500 voters, and during the last election, 65,853 voted, for a turn out of about 28%.

8 COMMENTS

  1. Correction: Anchorage SELECTION filing season opens, with the active participation of the municipal clerk and the opaque mail-in voting system being the deciding factors in Anchorage’s democrazy.

  2. I’d say vote against any and all of the Assembly and School Board incumbents considering the never-ending unfolding disaster they perpetuate, but I have little confidence this is an actual election any more. Seems more like Putin’s Russia from my inside view. How else can so many people be outraged and opposed and these jokers remain in power?

  3. Conservatives need to run for every seat that is open – from the road service areas to school board to Mayor. Fill those seats with people who care to see humanity live on.

  4. Oh shoot! I forgot: “all-mail election.” Conservatives in Anchorage are screwed unless God Almighty intervenes!

    • I will NOT use the “vote by mail”. I hope they understand most of us do not vote by mail.. In the past, they have changed that just before the election. They usually have an office at the City Hall and/or the place on Gamble open for drop-offs or vote in person. Let’s hope anyway, they’ll give option in for a chance..

  5. 61,000 donation to the low circulation leftist propaganda brochure when there are many other ways to announce the election. Go figure.

  6. Well here we go another crooked election.
    Everybody should vote but most will not so the fox is watching the hen house and foul play will happen.

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