A Mackey Lake voter fills out a special mayoral ballot at Soldotna Prep School on Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2023 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

A Mackey Lake voter fills out a special mayoral ballot at Soldotna Prep School on Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2023 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Special mayor election saw 13.1% voter turnout

About 13.1% of the Kenai Peninsula Borough’s more than 54,000 voters cast ballots during the Feb. 14 special mayoral election, a report published Tuesday shows. Turnout ranged from 0.26% in the Tyonek precinct to 21.1% in the Cooper Landing precinct.

About 30% of the 7,101 votes cast by voters were absentee, questioned or special needs ballots, according the report. That’s compared to the roughly 5,000 people who cast ballots on election day. In all, there are about 54,200 registered voters in the Kenai Peninsula Borough.

Poll workers across the central peninsula reported sluggish turnout on election day, with some attributing it to blustery weather conditions, the scheduling of the election on Valentine’s Day and the low number of issues on the ballot.

With all votes counted, mayor-elect Peter Micciche received about 51.6% of all votes cast, securing him the borough’s top job without the need for a runoff election, which the Kenai Peninsula Borough had scheduled, if needed, for next month. Micciche’s lead on election night was narrow, with just 23 votes putting him ahead of the threshold needed to secure him the position.

Election results were certified by assembly members on Tuesday. That meeting can be streamed on the borough’s website at kpb.legistar.com.

Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at ashlyn.ohara@peninsulaclarion.com.

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