Election results remain intact

Canvass board to certify official count, present findings tonight

Posted: Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Except for a possible few straggling mail-in ballots that will be counted today, it appears absentee and questioned ballots have not changed the unofficial results of the Oct. 4 municipal election.

The Kenai Peninsula Borough Canvass Board counted 1,818 absentee, questioned and special-needs ballots on Sunday. The board will conduct its final tally and certification this afternoon and present their findings to the borough assembly at tonight's meeting.

Monday was Columbus Day and a federal holiday, meaning no mail delivery, so the final count was put off until today, said Borough Clerk Sherry Biggs.

According to the latest unofficial count, former state Sen. John Torgerson led a six-man field in the race for mayor with 3,979 votes. Former Kenai Mayor John Williams received 2,753 votes. Neither candidate got anywhere near the number of votes needed to win outright and will face each other in a runoff election Oct. 25.

To win, a candidate needed 50 percent, plus one vote of the 10,914 votes cast for mayor. Torgerson got about 36.5 percent, Williams 25.2 percent.

Others in the race included Gary Superman, who got 1,688 votes; Fred Sturman, who got 1,361 votes; Ed Oberts, who got 978 votes; and Ray VinZant, who got 108 votes. There were 47 write-in votes.

In the races for three open assembly seats, Kenai Peninsula Borough Board of Education member Margaret Gilman unseated assembly incumbent Betty Glick in the race for District 2 (Kenai). Gilman outpolled Glick 576 to 407.

Meanwhile, incumbent Grace Merkes (595 votes) outscored Glen F. Martin (552) and Amber Elsey (309) and kept her District 5 (Sterling) seat, and school board member Deb Germano was the successful candidate from District 8 (Homer), garnering 584 votes and topping Bill Smith (515) and Heidi Fielding (170).

The winners are expected to be sworn in at Tuesday's assembly meeting.

The results of the four propositions also remained unchanged.

Proposition 1, a measure to impose a bed tax, lost 5,957 to 4,987.

Proposition 2, a bond measure to build and upgrade fire stations in Kasilof and Funny River, won with 2,713 "yes" votes to 1,809 "no" votes.

Proposition 3, an advisory vote concerning a proposed Funny River Bridge was actually two votes: whether the state should build a bridge connecting Sterling and Funny River, and whether the borough should participate financially. Both questions went down to defeats, 7,072 to 3,851 and 7,886 to 2,830, respectively.

Proposition 4, a measure limiting the amount the assembly may appropriate to a capital project to $1 million without a public vote and requiring that expenditures over that amount be approved at the polls by a 60-percent supermajority, got 5,538 "yes" votes to 5,323 "no" votes.

Proposition 5, which capped the borough sales tax at 2 percent and required a 60-percent supermajority of voters to go higher, also won, receiving 5,990 "yes" votes to 5,009 "no" votes.

The final numbers will be included in a laydown resolution certifying the official tally to be acted upon by the assembly tonight. The meeting is at 7 p.m. at the Borough Building.

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