3 ways to vote on the last day of the Anchorage mail-in election

Published: Apr. 3, 2018 at 11:51 AM AKDT
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Though mailers went out weeks ago and voters in Anchorage have had ample time to cast their votes, as of election day, April 3, many still have not done so. Officials say this is due to multiple reasons.

According to the Municipal Election Center, almost 200,000 ballots were sent out to Anchorage residents, and

Not only those ballots, but many more remain in the voter's possession, waiting to be mailed.

Due to unfamiliarity with the mail-in method, which is being tried for the first time this year, confusion over how to vote if you've misplaced your mail-in ballot, or simple procrastination, many in Anchorage still have yet to weigh in on the issues this year.

Well, the good news is that it's not too late to make your voice heard, and that traditionalists who have opted to vote only on election day itself, and no earlier, won't be out of luck.

There are several methods still open to voters through the last call of April 3.

Included among them are utilizing that mailer sent to residents and getting it post marked with today's date, taking your envelope to one of several drop-off bins sprinkled around town, or making a traditional, polling place vote at one of just five locations open to the public today.

Mailing it in

The method thousands of Anchorage residents have already used will remain viable on election day as well. If you have received an envelope with your printed ballot, it can be filled out and mailed at any post office in town. As long as it's post-marked today, it's good to go.

A majority of Anchorage post offices close between 4 and 6 p.m., however the location near Ted Stevens International Airport is open until 11 p.m.

You can also slap a first-class stamp on the mailer and drop it in the mail, however this won't guarantee your vote to be valid. As the ballot needs to be post-marked on election day, and transportation and processing could delay that necessary aspect.

You could also miss the last pick up for your mail box, meaning the postal service will collect it the following morning, by which time it would not be valid. To be safe, elections officials say to bring it to a post office personally, and have a postal worker hand-stamp the postmark.

Dropping it off

If you'd rather drop it off without waiting in a post office line or springing for a stamp, there are 12 drop-boxes across the municipality – two for each of the voting districts – which can be used as a no-fuss option for dropping off your filled out ballot.

These 12 secured boxes can be found at the following locations:

  • Loussac Library, 3600 Denali Street
  • Anchorage School District Education Center, 5530 East Northern Lights Boulevard
  • Bartlett High School, 1101 Golden Bear Drive
  • Clark Middle School, 150 Bragaw Street
  • Dimond High School, 2909 West 88th Avenue
  • Fairview Community Recreation Center, 1121 East 10th Avenue
  • Service High School, 5577 Abbott Road
  • South Anchorage High School, 13400 Elmore Road
  • Spenard Community Recreation Center, 2020 West 48th Avenue
  • UAA Alaska Airlines Center, 3550 Providence Drive
  • Eagle River Town Center, 12001 Business Boulevard
  • Girdwood Community Center, 250 Egloff Drive

The old fashioned way

For voters who have lost their mail-in ballot or didn't receive it, as well as those who simply prefer the non-mail-in method, there's an opportunity there as well.

Where in past years, voters could go down to the nearby elementary school or other communal location to place their vote, that won't be the case this time around. Instead, there are but five approved locations, called Accessible Vote Centers, or AVCs.

Those five are located at the following places:

ZJ Loussac Library

3600 Denali Street, First Floor

All Municipal ballots will be available at this location.

Election Day, April 3, 7am – 8pm

Anchorage City Hall

632 West 6th Avenue, Room #155

All Municipal ballots will be available at this location.

Election Day, April 3, 7am – 8pm

Eagle River Town Center

Community Room #170

Same building as the Library

12001 Business Boulevard

Only Chugiak-Eagle River ballots will be available at this location.

Election Day, April 3, 7am – 8pm

MOA Election Center

619 East Ship Creek Avenue, Suite 100 at Door D

On the east side of the building

All Municipal ballots will be available at this location.

Election Day, April 3, 7am - 8pm

O’Malley’s on the Green

3651 O’Malley Road

All Municipal ballots will be available at this location.

Election Day, Tuesday, April 3, 7am – 8pm

Whatever method voters use, the municipality is hopeful for a high turnout.

As election day rolls on, KTUU will feature more up-to-date figures in terms of voter response, as well as preliminary results on the race for Anchorage mayor, school board candidates, and various propositions.

However, due to the nature of the mail-in votes, if races are close, it may be too early to call them on April 3.

Much like absentee ballots, the counting process could take some time. In this year's case, there could be enough votes placed today, which would not be counted until later this week, to tip the scale on some of the major issues.