Municipal elections

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.

Sabine Poux/KDLL

Municipal election results are in … kind of.

Only votes that were cast in person have been counted as of now. The borough is still counting absentee ballots — 4,574 and counting — and residents will have to wait until Oct. 13 to see how those results impact the existing totals.

Some candidates are behind by just enough that those uncounted absentee votes might boost them to victory.

Others are ahead by large enough margins that they’re calling the elections now, like Borough Mayor Charlie Pierce.

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

You could not ask for a better, more bluebird afternoon for some election-day sign-waving. Around noon today, a dozen or so Kenai candidates and supporters were doing just that.

“There’s been honking. I think positive honking,” said Henry Knackstedt, a candidate for Kenai City Council. He was stationed out on the intersection of the Kenai Spur and Bridge Access Road today, encouraging passersby to hit the polls. He already voted absentee.


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.

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