Absentee votes could sway election

  • Thursday, October 9, 2014 9:57pm
  • News

Nearly 2,000 ballots remain to be counted from Tuesday’s election.

The official count of absentee, questioned and special needs ballots totaled 1,964 Thursday, according to an email from Kenai Peninsula Borough Clerk Johni Blankenship.

To retain his lead position in the race for borough mayor, incumbent Mike Navarre would have to get to get a minimum of 667 of the remaining votes.

Unofficial results from Tuesday’s election show Navarre as the leader of the race for Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor with 4,794 votes or 53. 52 percent.

Challenger Tom Bearup captured 36.51 percent — 1,524 votes behind Navarre.

Candidate Carrol Martin received 846 votes.

To push Navarre’s percentage below the required majority vote threshold and cause a runoff election, Bearup and Martin would need to receive 1,298 of the remaining votes. The runoff would be held between the top two candidates.

However, not all of the 1,964 ballots may qualify. The canvass board will continue to audit the remaining ballots, and the eligible ballots will counted on Oct. 14 prior to certification.

Proposition A1 asked voters to advise the borough assembly whether or not the borough should exercise limited animal control. Voters narrowly said no Tuesday with only a 59-vote difference.

However, voters also said no to the proposed funding mechanism, which asked if they would approve a 0.02 mill rate on properties outside of cities. The no vote received 1,606 more votes than the yes side.

The advisory vote on Proposition B, whether the borough should move to a by-mail voting system, failed by a large margin — 2,740 votes.

Close race in Kenai

The race for the last Kenai City Council seat could come down to Henry Knackstedt or incumbent Mike Boyle after the absentee votes are counted. Boyle trails Knackstedt by 20 votes.

Unofficial results in the race for Kenai City Council have Tim Navarre and Knackstedt in the lead for the two vacant at-large council seats.

Tim Navarre received 548 votes for 30.61 percent while Knackstedt received 504 votes for 28.16 percent. Boyle received 484 votes for 27.04 percent.

Kenai City Clerk Sandra Modigh said from what she has seen at city hall, there were approximately 100 or more voters absentee in-person submitted to Kenai City Hall. Those numbers do not account for the absentee in-person from the borough absentee voting office or the questioned or special needs ballots issued at all three Kenai precincts, she said.

The canvass board will review all the ballots Tuesday, Oct. 14.


Dan Balmer can be reached at dan.balmer@peninsulaclarion.com

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