District boundaries adjusted to eliminate multiple ballots

  • By KAYLEE OSOWSKI
  • Monday, June 9, 2014 10:05pm
  • News

With little discussion and unanimous approval, some Kenai Peninsula Borough district lines have shifted slightly.

The borough assembly OK’d revisions to six assembly and board of education district boundaries at its Tuesday meeting last week.

The changes stem from the Division of Election’s adjusted precinct boundaries for Alaska Legislative Senate and House of Representatives districts, which were finalized in February.

The assembly-approved revisions eliminate some discrepancies between precinct and district boundaries to eliminate the need for multiple ballots in the adjusted areas.

Borough Clerk Johni Blankenship said the changes might save the borough a bit of money by eliminating some ballots for precincts, but mostly it will make elections less confusing in some districts.

“It definitely eliminates some types of ballots for precincts, but those ballots may have been the same ballot that I used in a different precinct,” Blankenship said. “It’s just that now I don’t have to purchase those for a couple precincts. … It’s going to save more headaches than anything else.”

The changes affected lines for Districts 1, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 9. Only three of the districts saw slight population changes, the other districts only have land changes.

District 5, Sterling and Funny River, lost 23 people, the most. Assembly member Charlie Pierce and board of education member Marty Anderson represent the district.

Pierce said he didn’t hear concerns about the changes to the boundaries from anyone in his district.

“They try to draw up the boundaries so that folks were not affected, but it’s hard to do that,” Pierce said. “You’re always going to affect a few. I think they tried to minimize that.”

District 6, East Peninsula, represented by assembly member Sue McClure and board of education member Lynn Hohl, lost two people.

“The impact isn’t too extreme,” McClure said at a policies and procedures meeting last week. “They were probably valuable people though.”

Assembly member Brent Johnson and board of education member Bill Holt gained 25 people in District 7, Central Peninsula.

District 7 has one of the lowest populations. With the approved boundary changes, its number was bumped up to 5,989. Johnson said the changes were good because the populations among districts are more equalized, and they help the borough clerk by eliminating some ballots.

Remaining service area splits within districts have to be changed by voters, Blankenship said. Because voting precinct lines change every 10 years, the borough would have to change service areas every 10 years to keep up.

“When (service areas) were originally created, they were created based on the precinct,” Blankenship said. “But then of course the precinct has changed, in some cases multiple times, so that’s why you have the crazy splits in the service areas.”

All boundary changes are within 10 percent above or below the allowable population level for each district. The borough is not required to notify people affected by the changes. Blankenship said people could find out if they were affected through the regular public hearing process on the ordinance. Maps of adjusted district boundary lines are available through the borough website, at borough.kenai.ak.us in the assembly packet for the June 3 meeting.

Kaylee Osowski can be reached at kaylee.osowski@peninsulaclarion.com.

More in News

Rep. Don Young talks during a June 2021 interview with the Empire. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
Young to face off with a Begich yet again

Young, 88, seemed unfazed by Begich’s entry into the race.

A remote galaxy captured by the Hubble Space Telescope is greatly magnified and distorted by the effects of gravitationally warped space. (Image via NASA)
Grant brings NASA to library

The grant supports science, technology, engineering, arts and math programming for patrons.

A spruce bark beetle is seen on the underside of a piece of bark taken from logs stacked near Central Peninsula Landfill on Thursday, July 1, 2021 near Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
State urges driver caution at Bing’s Landing this week due to work

The work is part of the State of Alaska’s efforts to mitigate the spruce beetle outbreak on the Kenai Peninsula.

Ashlyn O’Hara / Peninsula Clarion 
A chicken eats kale inside of a chicken house at Diamond M Ranch on April 1 off Kalifornsky Beach Road. The ranch receives food scraps from the public as part a community program aimed at recovering food waste and keeping compostable material out of the landfill.
More food for the chickens

Central peninsula group awarded grant to expand composting efforts

The Little Alaskan children’s store is seen in Kenai on Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021. Located where Bargain Basement used to be in Kenai, the shop opened this weekend. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
‘Little’ shop goes big

Little Alaskan occupies the space where Bargain Basement used to be in Kenai.

Nurses Melissa Pancoast and Kathi Edgell work shifts at the intesive care unit at Central Peninsula Hospital in Soldotna on Sept. 22. October was the deadliest month so far for COVID-19 deaths at CPH, with 11 of 30 deaths that have taken place at the hospital since the beginning of the pandemic. (Photo courtesy of Chief Nursing Officer Karen Scoggins)
‘The deadliest month we’ve had’

One-third of total COVID deaths at CPH took place in the last month.

Kenai City Manager Paul Ostrander speaks at a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Kenai Municipal Airport on Friday, Aug. 6, 2021 in Kenai, Alaska. A kiosk that will offer educational programming and interpretive products about the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge is coming to the airport. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsua Clarion)
Wildlife refuge kiosk coming to airport

Kenai National Wildlife Refuge stickers, T-shirts, magnets, travel stamps and enamel pins will be available.

This illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in January 2020 shows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. (CDC)
5 more COVID deaths reported

The total nationwide fatalities surpass population of Alaska.

Most Read