elections

Sabine Poux/KDLL

Since the November 2020 election, lawmakers in states across the country have ramped up efforts to change election laws, making it more difficult for people to vote. This week, the Georgia House passed an election bill that would limit early voting. An Alaska state senator has proposed a bill to limit by-mail voting throughout the state.

Next month, the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly will hear an ordinance that would make it easier for borough residents to vote. The borough is planning to buy seven ADA-compliant voting machines and lease 26 others, geared to help voters who are visually impaired.

Sabine Poux/KDLL

Nearly two weeks after Election Day, leading candidates for the Kenai Peninsula’s state House and Senate races can finally declare victory.

The Alaska Division of Elections finished counting the absentee ballots received for several districts this weekend, including District 29, where Rep. Ben Carpenter is on track for reelection, and District 30, where newcomer Ron Gillham has secured the seat previously occupied by Rep. Gary Knopp.

There is still a chance some absentee ballots arrive from overseas before Nov. 18. But those would only amount to a few, if any, said Tiffany Montemayor of the Division of Elections. Results remain “unofficial” until certification later this month.

Sabine Poux/KDLL

Voter turnout was comparatively high in this year’s municipal election, due in part to to more than double the amount of absentee ballots usually cast in an October election. The Kenai Peninsula Borough sent out absentee applications to every registered voter this year.

The borough counted over 4,500 absentee ballots this weekend, yielding an overall voter turnout rate of 28 percent. The last two municipal elections saw voting rates around 18 percent.

Election results as of 9:30 p.m., with 29 of 29 precincts reporting:

Mayor Charlie Pierce leads Linda Farnsworth-Hutchings 59.53 percent to 36.39 percent, with Troy Nightengale garnering 3.74 percent.

For Borough Assembly District 2 Kenai, challenger Richard Derkevorkian is leading incumbent Hal Smalley 48.67 to 37.75 percent, with Jim Duffield at 12.94 percent.

Sabine Poux/KDLL

Tomorrow is municipal election day. But many Kenai Peninsula Borough residents have already voted.

In a typical year, around 300 to 500 people vote in borough elections by mail, said borough Clerk Johni Blankenship. This year, the borough sent out absentee ballot applications to every registered voter in the borough — about 3,000 — in mid-August. Blankenship says they have received about 2,000 back.

As of this morning, another 1,200 residents had voted early in person. That’s consistent with prior years.

Pages