Voters to advise on by-mail elections

  • By KAYLEE OSOWSKI
  • Wednesday, July 23, 2014 9:22pm
  • News

Voters this Oct. 7 will have the opportunity to advise local public servants whether the Kenai Peninsula Borough should hold elections by mail.

The borough assembly at its Tuesday meeting passed a resolution to ask voters to provide the body with their input on the issue.

At its July 1 meeting, the assembly considered and failed the resolution for the advisory vote, sponsored by assembly member Dale Bagley, and the ordinance for the assembly to enact vote-by-mail elections, sponsored by assembly member Bill Smith. Both gave notice of reconsideration to consider the votes at the following meeting.

“This is a very major change in the way the borough in the future might be conducting its elections doing by-mail,” Bagley said. “And I’d like to hear what the people have to say, and I also think it’s part of an educational process so they know that we’re looking at doing this.”

While Smith sponsored the ordinance, which introduced the concept of by-mail elections the assembly, he said Tuesday he was supportive of the resolution.

Following the passage of the resolution, Smith’s ordinance was postponed to January 2015.

Assembly members Kelly Wolf, Mako Haggerty and Wayne Ogle voted against putting the advisory question on the ballot.

Smith originally introduced vote-by-mail to the assembly in the hope that by-mail elections would increase voter turnout. Last year the borough saw about 21 percent voter turnout.

He previously said he initially thought vote-by-mail elections would save the borough money. However, according to a fiscal note prepared by Borough Clerk Johni Blankenship, voting by mail will cost more money — $57,420 for mayoral elections and $23,090 for non-mayoral elections.

If the borough does hold elections by mail, citizens can still vote in person at absentee voting sites. Of the 28 precincts within the borough, six are currently absentee-by-mail only.

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

More in News

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.

Velda Geller fills goodie bags at the Kenai Senior Center on Friday, Oct. 22, 2021 for next weekend’s drive-through trick-or-treat event. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
‘This has been a lifesaver’

Seniors seek human connection as pandemic continues.

Kenai City Hall on Feb. 20, 2020, in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)
‘A very slippery slope that we need to be careful of’

Approval of library grant postponed after Kenai council requests to preview book purchases

This undated photo released by the Alaska State Department of Public Safety shows Robin Pelkey just before her 18th birthday. The remains of a woman known for 37 years only as Horseshoe Harriet, one of 17 victims of a notorious Alaska serial killer, have been identified through DNA profiling as Robin Pelkey, authorities said Friday, Oct. 22, 2021. (Alaska State Department of Public Safety via AP)
DNA match IDs serial killer’s victim after 37 years

Robin Pelkey was 19 and living on the streets of Anchorage when she was killed by Robert Hansen in the early 1980s, investigators said.

A moose is photographed in Kalifornsky, Alaska, in July 2020. (Peninsula Clarion file)
Illegal moose harvest down from past 5 years

The large majority of moose this year were harvested from North and South Kasilof River areas.

Renee Behymer and Katelyn Behymer (right) of Anchorage win this week’s vaccine lottery college scholarship sweepstakes. (Photo provided)
Dillingham and Anchorage residents win 6th vaccine lottery

“Get it done,” one winner said. “Protect us all, protect our elders and our grandchildren.”

Most Read