Deadline looming to update your voter registration
Address must be current before casting a ballot in municipal and general elections
The deadline to update or register to vote in the upcoming municipal elections is coming fast.
September 7, a Sunday, is the last day voters can register or update their registration if they want to cast a ballot in the October 7 municipal elections.
This is important information for new voters or even voters in Valdez that are already registered but need to update their physical address if they have moved or changed physical addresses within the city since the last election.
You must have lived in Valdez for at least 30 days and be registered for at least 30 before the election to vote. According to the Alaska Div. of Elections, for voting purposes, you are considered an Alaska resident if you reside in the state and intend to remain here or you leave with the intent to return.
This year, Valdez will elect a new mayor. Larry Weaver and Rich Long are on the ballot as mayoral candidates. Current mayor Dave Cobb opted to not run again, after serving on the city council and stints in the mayor’s seat for over 15 years.
Voters will also be asked to sink or swim a proposition that will allow the city to bond up to $20 million to complete funding for a portion of the new boat harbor it is building in partnership with the Army Corp of Engineers.
There are no incumbents running for the board of education. In fact, there are only three candidates running for the three seats open, Bill Comer, Darryl Verfaillie and Bill Connell. By state law, school board terms are set at three years.
There is also no competition in the city council elections. Three terms are set to expire, and there are three candidates on the ballot to fill the two-year terms. Incumbents Nate Smith and Chris Moulton are up for reelection, along with Jim Shirrell, a former council member who is running for the third open seat that is currently held by Donna Schantz, who is not running for a second term.
Valdez voters with registration questions on the statewide ballot can call the city clerk’s office in Valdez at 834- 3408.
Information is also available at the clerk’s office on voting absentee in the municipal elections, which will open next week.
According to Dep. City Clerk Allie Hendrickson, registered voters who will be unable to vote in person for the October municipal elections can request an absentee ballot by mail from the City Clerk’s office or directly from city hall or the city’s website.
On the city’s homepage, (www.ci.valdez.ak.us) go to the “How Do I…” section at the top of the page on the far right. Click and go down the drop to item number 7, city forms. It will take you to a different page with various city forms. Scroll down until you get to the city clerk’s section, where you will find a copy of the request, which can be printed.
Questions on registering for the upcoming statewide elections November 4 can contact the Region III elections office in Fairbanks toll-free: (866) 959-8683 or go to the Alaska Division of Elections website at elections.Alaska.gov.
The deadline to register or update registration for the general election is October 5 according to the Alaska Division of Elections.
“Please note, the state of Alaska absentee ballot by mail process is different than the one for municipal elections,” Hendrickson said in an email. “Voters will need to apply with the state if they will be unable to vote in person during the November general election.”
This election will let voters decide who will be Alaska’s governor, put a new House Representative for District 9, which includes Valdez, in the Alaska legislature, and its District E Senator.
Ballot measures include Ballot Measure, which, if passed, will legalize and regulate marijuana use, sales and production. Other ballot measures include a Ballot Measure 3,
“An Act to Increase Alaska’s Minimum Wage” and Ballot Measure 4 “An Act Providing for Protection of Bristol Bay Wild Salmon and Waters Within or Flowing Into the Existing 1972 Bristol Bay Fisheries Reserve.”