The first batch of initial election results on Tuesday show Anchorage voters supporting a proposal to use marijuana taxes to fund child care and early education initiatives.
There are still tens of thousands of ballots to count in Anchorage’s by-mail election. By Tuesday night, 30,313 ballots were tallied. City election officials said they’d received over 37,000 ballots by Monday evening, with more ballots to be collected from drop boxes Tuesday and others still arriving by mail.
So far, 57% of ballots counted are in favor of the marijuana tax proposal. The marijuana tax is currently 5%, and last year brought about $5.8 million to the city. Former Anchorage legislator Ivy Spohnholz helped organize the campaign in support of the proposal. She said while it’s too early to declare victory, she’s encouraged by the initial results.
“It shows that there is a widespread recognition across all ends of the political spectrum that child care is important, not only for families but also for our business community,” Spohnholz said Tuesday night.
A roughly $38 million school bond to pay for new roofs and other security and safety upgrades at the Anchorage School District was also passing. About 55% of voters said yes to the school bond. While school bonds tend to pass in city elections, a much larger bond proposed last year — roughly $111 million — that would’ve paid for a replacement building for Inlet View Elementary School narrowly failed by about 1,100 votes.
The only proposition failing so far is one that would change how Assembly and mayoral vacancies are filled, with 52% of votes counted opposed.
Early election results show the other bonds for fire service, public safety and transit improvement, parks and recreation and sewage all passing.
Here’s a breakdown of the results for the rest of the ballot propositions so far:
• A ballot proposition increasing a property tax exemption on residential properties from 20% of assessed value to 40% is passing with 74% of ballots counted in support.
• Anchorage voters are supporting a proposition to create a Chugach State Park Access Service Area covering the Anchorage Bowl. That would allow voters in the area to tax themselves to improve park access. Currently, 60% of counted ballots are in support of the change.
• A ballot proposition changing who’s responsible for managing the city’s $400 million trust fund from the city treasurer to an appointed board is passing with 61% of counted ballots in support.
Anchorage officials will continue to count ballots and announce daily results. The election will be certified on April 25.