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Deadline to register to vote approaching

Posted: August 26, 2011 - 8:00am  |  Updated: August 26, 2011 - 9:19am

The deadline for Kenai Peninsula Borough residents to register to be eligible to vote in the October election is fast approaching.

Residents have until Sept. 2 to register to vote in the borough-wide general election, which will include the borough mayor's seat, three borough assembly seats - Kenai, Sterling/Funny River and Homer - and three school board seats - Nikiski, Soldotna and Central.

Also up for grabs are 34 board seats in the 11 various service areas across the Peninsula.

Voter information, details and forms can be found online at www2.borough.kenai.ak.us/AssemblyClerk/Assembly/ELECTIONS_NEW/KPB_Elections.htm and www.elections.alaska.gov

Borough Clerk Johni Blankenship said registering to vote is easy.

"It's a one-page form, it is a very simple process," she said. "And you just fill that out, sign it and either we'll send it in or you can. It's very simple."

Election day will be Oct. 4, but residents can start voting early on Sept. 19. Applications for early voting and absentee ballots sent through the mail are available on the borough's website. All mail ballots have to be postmarked on, or before election day and must be received within seven days of Oct. 4 to be counted.

Both forms of absentee voting are popular with residents, Blankenship said.

"Both in-person and by mail are both growing for sure," she said. "People really like the convenience of that."

The filing period for borough candidates closed Aug. 15.

There are currently six candidates looking to nab the mayoral seat currently held by Dave Carey, who is not running for re-election. Those candidates are Dale Bagley of Soldotna, Debbie Brown of Kasilof, Fred Sturman of Soldotna, Gary Superman of Nikiski, Tim O'Brien of Nikiski and Mike Navarre of Kenai.

Former candidate Ron Long, of Seward, dropped out of the race.

Incumbent assembly member Hal Smalley is running uncontested for his the Kenai district seat. Incumbent assembly member Charlie Pierce will face Eileen K. Sverdrup for the Sterling/Funny River district seat and incumbent assembly member Bill Smith will face Bryan Zak and Kelly Cooper for the Homer district seat.

School board candidates Joe Arness, Nikiski, Penny Vadla, Soldotna, and Bill Holt, Central, are uncontested for their seats.

Law requires a runoff election if no mayoral candidate receives a majority of the votes cast. The runoff election will be hosted on Oct. 25, if necessary, and the last day to register to be eligible to vote in the election is Sept. 23. Absentee ballots for the runoff will be available starting Oct. 15.

There are also two three-year seats available on the Kenai City Council currently held by Joe Moore and Mike Boyle. Moore will not be running, but Boyle and Tim Navarre will be up for election.

For Kenai voters, the last day to register for the Oct. 4 election is Sept. 4. Absentee voting begins Sept. 19, and applications for an absentee ballot are available online at http://www.ci.kenai.ak.us/elections/absent.

Two seats are open on the Soldotna City Council including a three-year term for the seat currently held by Brenda Hartman - seat B, and a three-year term for the seat held by Shea Hutchings - seat F. The Soldotna mayor's seat, currently held by Peter Micciche is also up for grabs. Hartman is running for re-election; Hutchings is not. Pete Sprague will seek Hutchings' seat. Micciche is running unopposed.

For Soldotna voters, the last day to register for the Oct. 4 election is Sept. 4. Absentee voting begins Sept. 19, and applications for an absentee ballot are available online at http://www.ci.soldotna.ak.us/pdf/elections/absentee_voting_application.pdf

 

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