Absentee in-person voting for October election has started

When, where and how to vote in the Oct. 6 municipal election

Absentee voting in-person for the Oct. 6 Kenai Peninsula Borough and City of Homer elections has started or will start today.

Absentee voting in-person will be available at the following locations on the lower peninsula. Locations will be open until Oct. 6 unless otherwise noted:

Homer City Hall — 491 E. Pioneer Ave. Open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. through Oct. 5. City Hall will have borough ballots for anyone in precincts 29-32, and city ballots for city residents.

Kenai Peninsula Borough Homer Annex Office — 638 E. Pioneer Ave., Homer. Open starting Sept. 24, Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. and will have ballots for the Anchor Point, Diamond Ridge, Fox River, Homer, Kachemak — City/Fritz Creek, Ninilchik, Seldovia/Kachemak Bay and Tyonek precincts. Absentee voting in-person will start today. Sept. 24.

Seldovia City Clerk’s Office — 235 Dock St., Seldovia. Open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. until Oct. 5 and will have ballots for the Seldovia/Kachemak Bay precinct.

“It’s actually been very busy,” Homer Deputy Clerk Renee Krause said of absentee voting in-person at Homer City Hall on Tuesday. “…There is very much an increased number of voting by mail, getting the absentee ballot.”

Krause noted that absentee voting in-person is different than what’s sometimes called early voting in that absentee voting in-person ballots will be counted after election day along with mailed-in absentee ballots.

She said clerks anticipate counting of ballots will take longer this year when the Canvass Board meets on Monday, Oct. 12. The usual date for the city canvass board to meet is the Friday after the election, but the city set a later date on the following Monday to allow more time for mailed-in ballots to be received.

Casting a vote by mail is also an option. Residents must mail their absentee ballot applications to the following address by Sept. 29 in order to receive their ballot in time to vote:

Office of the Borough Clerk

Kenai Peninsula Borough

144 N. Binkley St.

Soldotna, Alaska 99669-7520

Residents can go to kpb.us/vote to fill out an application for a mail-in ballot. Ballots must be postmarked on or before Oct. 6. They also can be dropped off in a secure box outside the Homer City Clerk’s office or with clerks doing absentee voting in-person before election day. There also is a drop box at the Homer Kenai Peninsula Borough Annex inside.

Some precincts in the borough have been designated as “absentee by-mail” because the precincts’ turnout was less than 200 voters at the last regular election.

The residents of these precincts are automatically mailed a ballot by the Borough Clerk’s Office about two weeks prior to Election Day. Residents still have the option to vote absentee voting in-person at the Homer borough annex , but no poll workers are appointed to those precincts.

The following precincts have been designated “absentee by-mail” this year: Cooper Landing, Hope, Moose Pass, Fox River, Seldovia/Kachemak Bay and Tyonek.

For more information about voting, call the Kenai Peninsula Borough Clerk at 833-796-VOTE (833-796-8683).

For a list of polling locations in the borough, visit www.kpb.us/vote.

To check your voter registration status, go to www.elections.alaska.gov.

Important dates:

Sept. 21 — Early in-person voting began

Sept. 29 — Deadline to apply for absentee ballot by mail application

Oct. 5 — Deadline to apply for absentee ballot by fax application

Oct. 6 — Municipal Election Day

To help voters learn about city candidates, the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center will hold a forum at 5:30 p.m. today at Land’s End Resort in the Quarter Deck room. It also will be streamed live on the chamber’s website and broadcast on KBBI 890 AM.

The Homer Chamber of Commerce Candidate Forum will be held in two parts. The first hour will focus on the candidates for mayor. The second portion of the evening will focus on the candidates for city council. The moderator for the evening will be chamber Executive Director Brad Anderson.

The public is invited to attend in person. However, the event will follow state and CDC COVID-19 guidelines. This will include physical distancing, reduced room capacity and open windows and doors. Face coverings are recommended. The livestream on the Chamber’s website will be at HomerAlaska.org. Questions can be submitted to info@homeralaska.org.

Reach Michael Armstrong at marmstrong@homernews.com and Brian Mazurek at bmazurek@peninsulaclarion.com.