It’s Election Day in Anchorage. Here’s what to know.

a ballot drop box
One of the Municipality of Anchorage’s 13 drop boxes for vote-by-mail ballots at Bartlett High School. (Wesley Early/Alaska Public Media)

Tuesday, April 2, is Election Day in Anchorage. Ballots are due by 8 p.m.

Here’s what to know about who’s on the ballot, where to return your ballot and more.

What’s at stake? 

Where can I learn more about the candidates?

Alaska Public Media partnered with the Anchorage Daily News to build a candidate comparison guide for the 10 candidates for mayor and the six candidates for Anchorage School Board. Readers and listeners helped inform the questions we asked. Take a look here

You can also check out our interviews with the four major mayoral candidates: incumbent Dave Bronson, Suzanne LaFrance, Bill Popp and Chris Tuck.

Plus, Alaska Public Media partnered with the ADN on a mayoral debate held on March 21 that you can watch here.

Will there be a runoff election for mayor? 

If at least one mayoral hopeful wins at least 45% of the vote, then no. 

If no candidate reaches that threshold, then the top two will go on to a runoff election. New ballots for the runoff would be mailed April 30, with voting open through May 14. 

What about the ballot propositions

The charter amendment question, Ballot Proposition 2, is pretty straightforward. It asks voters to tweak the city’s charter so that when the mayor appoints someone to the position of chief medical officer, that person must be confirmed by the Assembly, like other department heads. 

The other eight ballot propositions ask voters to authorize up to $133 million in bonds for various public projects. These bonds are a form of long-term debt that the city can only incur with voter approval. If approved, the debts would be repaid over time with property taxes. 

About $76 million of those bonds would fall on property taxpayers across the entire municipality to repay.

Another $57 million would fall on specific service areas within the city to repay. 

Individual tax impacts will vary depending on which service areas a property is located in. But if all of the bonds are approved, officials estimate the most a property’s tax bill could increase by would be $32.24 per $100,000 of assessed property value. That’s based on estimates from the city’s Office of Management and Budget and the Anchorage School District

How do I vote? 

If you were registered to vote by March 3, your ballot package, which has materials barcoded specifically for you, should have arrived in the mail at the address tied to your voter registration with the state by March 19. 

Fill out the ballot card with black or blue ink. Remember to fill out both sides. Put your filled ballot card into the secrecy sleeve, and seal that inside the return envelope. You must use the ballot return envelope that came in the package.

On the outside of the envelope, read and sign the declaration. Your ballot isn’t valid without this signature. A pair of election workers trained in signature verification will eventually check it against your signature on file with the state. 

Now your ballot envelope is ready to deliver. 

How do I deliver my ballot envelope? 

There are three ways. All must be done by 8 p.m. on April 2 for your ballot to be valid. 

  • Mail it first class through the U.S. Postal Service. You’ll need to pay for postage. If you’re sending it on April 2, make sure a postal worker manually postmarks it. 
  • Put it in one of the city’s 18 secure drop boxes, which are available across the Anchorage Bowl plus one in Eagle River and one in Girdwood. 
  • Take it to one of three Anchorage Vote Centers during their business hours, which will open beginning March 25.

What if I didn’t sign my ballot envelope or my signatures don’t match? 

Election officials must send you a letter within a few days letting you know about the problem, and laying out ways to fix it. One way involves mailing back a form. The other is to meet with an election official in person. 

What if my ballot is damaged, I lose it or I never get one in the mail? 

You can request a replacement ballot by calling the city’s voter hotline at 907-243-VOTE (8683). 

Or, you can vote in person at one of the Anchorage Vote Centers. You’ll need identification, like a driver’s license, passport, or even a hunting or fishing license. 

Either way, the barcode that ties the original ballot return envelope to you will be invalidated. To dispose of the damaged ballot or if the lost ballot turns up, you should tear it up.

You can sign up for ballot tracking at

Can I vote in person? 

Sort of. There aren’t any neighborhood polling places. However, you can still take your ballot package to one of the three Anchorage Vote Centers and fill it out in a booth there. These centers will be staffed between March 25 and April 2.

The municipality switched from traditional, in-person elections to primarily vote-by-mail elections in 2018. The Anchorage Assembly made a series of policy decisions leading up to the switch beginning in 2015

When will we know the election results?

Election workers won’t begin counting votes until after voting closes at 8 p.m. on Election Night, April 2. Election officials plan to begin publishing partial, unofficial results on the city’s website around 8:30 p.m. that night. 

Election workers can process up to 10,000 ballots a day. For context, about 75,000 ballots were cast in Anchorage’s last regular election with a mayoral contest. 

The Anchorage Assembly must certify the results for them to become official. That vote is scheduled for the Assembly’s regular meeting on April 23. 

Have a question about the city election that we missed? 

CorrectionAn earlier version of this story misstated that the barcodes on election materials are individually tied to ballots. The barcodes are tied to the ballot return envelopes.

Jeremy Hsieh covers Anchorage with an emphasis on housing, homelessness, infrastructure and development. Reach him at or 907-550-8428. Read more about Jeremy here.

Previous articleAnchorage mayor vetoes Assembly action in latest transparency row
Next articleIncumbents lead in Anchorage School Board races