The Valdez Star - Serving Prince William Sound and Copper River Basin

By Lee Revis
Editor, Valdez Star 

Ready, set, vote: Election season is here

City elections taking off while state and federal candidates spar


Candidates and issues in the upcoming statewide elections are saturating online advertising and TV, but the quieter and gentler Valdez municipal elections are just around the corner.

Elections for mayor, three city council seats and three school board seats opened this week according to the city clerk’s office.

There will also be a proposition on the ballot asking voters to approve or axe bonding for up to $20 million to pay for the balance that will be due to complete the funding for the new boat harbor.

The move came after a work session a week ago Tuesday, when the Valdez City Council came to a consensus and directed city administration to put the matter before voters.

A resolution approving the ballot language will go to a council vote this Monday during the regular council meeting.

Thinking of running for city council yourself? How about school board or even mayor?

Nominating petitions to have your name on the ballot for the October 7 elections opened Monday.

It is a fairly simple process to become a candidate and the criteria needed to be eligible to run for elected office are minimal according to Sheri Pierce, city clerk.

To be eligible to run for public office in Valdez, a hopeful must have lived in Valdez for one year and be registered to vote.

If qualified, hopefuls must appear in person – no mailing, faxing or electronic communications for this requirement - and pick up a nomination packet in person from the clerk’s office located at city hall, then return the completed petitions in the packet before the close of business at 5 p.m. on Friday, August, 15.

In order to be on the ballot for mayor, city council or school board, hopefuls must return the petitions with the signatures of 25 registered Valdez voters. Mayoral candidates must return petitions with 50 qualified signatures.

Mayor Dave Cobb will not be running for elected office this time around.

“I will not be running,” Cobb said in a telephonic interview Monday night.

The terms of council members Donna Schantz, Nate Smith and Chris Moulton will expire in October, as will school board seats held by Anita Fannin, Dawn Farmer and Dan Walker.


There are also important dates to consider if you want to vote in any of the three elections slated in 2014. To vote in any Alaska election, you must have lived in the state for at least 30 days and then been registered to vote for at least 30 days prior to elections.

To vote in a Valdez election, you must also live in Valdez and not be registered to vote anywhere else.

The state and federal primary elections are August 19, making this Sunday (July 20) the deadline to be registered to vote.

Voter registration forms are available in many government offices in Valdez, including the DMV located in the state building on Meals Ave. It is also available online at

Last Monday, Lt. Gov. Meade Treadwell issued a press release to remind Alaskans that the deadline for registration is almost here, and that it is also the deadline to make changes on voter registration, including updating addresses or changes to a voter’s political party affiliation.

Alaska elections allow political parties to determine which voters can participate in the election of candidates in primary elections. The type of ballot a voter receives at the polls or by mail if voting absentee, is determined by party affiliation on the voter registration.

Democrats allow any registered voter to cast a ballot for its primary candidates.

The Republicans allow only those registered as Republicans, nonpartisan or undeclared to vote for its primary candidates.

“The party affiliation on a voter’s record on July 20 will determine which political party ballot a voter is eligible to receive during the primary election,” Treadwell’s press release said.

Both ballots feature Ballot Measure 1, a referendum that asks voters to reject or accept SB 21, the controversial oil tax bill passed by the Alaska legislature during the last session.

According to the Division of Elections, a yes vote on Measure 1 rejects the law, a no vote approves it.

There is also a third ballot that contains only the ballot measure. It is available to any voter, regardless of party affiliation.

The general election for governor and the House of Representatives and State Senate is Tuesday, November 4. This is the same date as federal elections for US Senate and the House of Representatives.

This election has the same 30-day registration requirements as the primary and municipal elections.

Early and in-person absentee, special needs and electronic transmission voting for the August primary begins Monday, August 04 according to the Alaska Division of Elections.


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