The Oct. 5 municipal elections are less than a month away, and early voting for both the borough and the city starts on Tuesday. Here’s everything you need to know before you vote.
The borough and city have replaced in-person absentee voting with early voting. Early voting proceeds as if you were voting in-person on election day.
Early voters can request a ballot in person from the borough clerk office or the city clerk office or a designated official at the Borough Assembly chambers, 710 Mill Bay Road, Room 232, between Sept. 14 and Oct. 4 from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Registered voters should have necessary documents, such as driver’s license or other identification, and will sign their precinct register. Voters will then be handed a ballot to fill out in a voting booth. The ballot will be fed into the voting machine and counted on Election Day.
Registered voters who want to vote absentee-by-mail must apply by no later than Sept. 28, seven days before the elections. City of Kodiak voters can pick up absentee-by-mail applications at the City Clerk’s office, 710 Mill Bay Road, Room 110, or online at www.city.kodiak.ak.us/cityclerk.
Borough residents can pick up absentee-by-mail applications at the Kodiak Island Borough, 710 Mill Bay Road, or online at https://www.kodiakak.us/250/Absentee-Voting-Information.
According to Borough Clerk Alise Rice, absentee-by-mail voters mailing their ballots must make sure it is postmarked no later than Oct. 5, and must be received by the clerk’s office no later than Oct. 12 to be accepted.
All absentee-by-mail voters must provide their physical Kodiak, Alaska, address (street number, milepost, trailer court and space number).
Registered voters who provide a residential address in another county or state, or provide a P.O. box, postal service center or Rural Route number will have their applications rejected.
Active duty military service members from Kodiak Island must provide their physical residence address within the state. If they have been assigned to an active duty station outside Alaska, they may wish to maintain their Alaskan residence address as it appears on their current registration record. If they provide a new residence address, it must be within Alaska.
Applications can either be emailed or electronically submitted by fax or email.
Kodiak Island Borough residents:
Mail: Kodiak Island Borough, Office of the Borough Clerk, 710 Mill Bay Road, Kodiak, AK 99615 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org and mail the original to the Office of the Borough Clerk
Fax : 907-486-9391 and mail the original to the Office of the Borough Clerk.
City of Kodiak Residents:
Mail: City of Kodiak, City Clerk’s Office, 710 Mill Bay Road, Room 110, Kodiak, AK 99615
Fax: 907-486-8633 and mail the original to the Office of the City Clerk.
Absentee-by-mail canvasing begins the day after the election and results will be posted within 10 days of the election.
VOTING IN THE
The borough Assembly recently passed a resolution designating places that had voter turnout of fewer than 100 as ballot-by-mail precincts.
According to Rice, ballots will be sent to registered voters in the villages, along with instructions on how to properly conduct operations. This includes Akhiok, Port Lions, Old Harbor, Ouzinkie, Larsen Bay and Karluk.
The borough also will have election workers in each area for election day voting as well.
BOROUGH, CITY NEED ELECTION WORKERS
While the election is still 22 days away, both the city and the borough are already in need of election employees, according to Rice, the borough clerk.
“We had quite a few election workers who didn’t feel comfortable working the polls with COVID still a concern,” Rice said Friday. “A lot of our election workers are 50 or older and they’ve been doing our elections for quite some time, so we’re trying to pull in younger people to help with polls.”
Election poll workers are essential to the election process, Rice said.
“They’re very crucial, especially for our code, which requires three per precinct,” Rice said. “Polls get very busy, and we want to make sure people are comfortable and are receiving the services to make sure they are able to cast their votes safely.”
Election poll workers are paid a specific wage, Rice said.
To see if you are able to be a poll worker contact the City Clerk at 907-486-8636 or the Borough Clerk at 907-486-9310.
The Youth Ambassador Program provides another avenue, Rice said. The program, overseen by the Alaska Division of Elections, allows high school students ages 16 or 17 who are in good standing in a public, private or qualified home school program to work the polls on Election Day.
“Students do an application through their school and it goes to the state, who approves it and then they contact us to let us know who can work,” Rice said. “Last year was the first year we did this program, and we had three that participated.”
Like adult poll workers, Youth Ambassadors are paid.
Rice said at least one Youth Ambassador will be returning this year.
“It’s important for young people to get involved so they are also learning the democratic process and how our government works,” Rice said. “They in turn can tell others they had fun working at the polls — it’s educational, it’s social and it gets them out in the community.”
For more information on the Youth Ambassador Program, visit bit.ly/3k14iYj