Anchorage’s mayoral runoff election ends today. Here’s what to know. 

a heavy equipment operator collects a ballot drop box from a warehouse
A heavy equipment operator collects one of 18 secure drop boxes from the Anchorage Election Center on March 7, 2024. The drop boxes are deployed across the city for local elections. (Allie Hartman/Municipality of Anchorage)

Anchorage’s runoff election to pick the next mayor of Alaska’s biggest city is underway.

Voters have until 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 14, to return their ballots.

The only candidates on the ballot are incumbent Dave Bronson and former Anchorage Assembly Chair Suzanne LaFrance. 

Here’s what to know about this runoff election.

What’s at stake? 

A three-year term as mayor of Anchorage, who is the municipal government’s chief executive. The mayor is directly responsible for picking municipal department heads and other executives, as well as proposing and executing the city’s annual budget, all subject to the Anchorage Assembly approval. 

For 2024, the mayor indirectly manages more than 2,000 full-time positions, plus nearly 300 part-time, seasonal and temporary ones under an operating budget of about $611 million. 

The mayor also picks the volunteers who serve on dozens of boards and commissions who impact everything from the books on library shelves to land use to animal control policies

Various hyperlocal tax service areas are supposed to be governed by officials elected from those jurisdictions, but they often go vacant due to a lack of candidates. The mayor is also responsible for filling those vacancies

The mayor also participates in meetings of the Anchorage Assembly, the 12-member legislative arm of city government. The mayor can veto Assembly measures. 

Where can I learn more about the candidates?

Alaska Public Media partnered with the Anchorage Daily News to build a candidate comparison guide that we’ve updated for the runoff, check it out here. We also hosted a runoff debate with the two candidates. 

Plus, you can check out our candidate interviews with LaFrance and Bronson from March. 

I registered to vote recently. Am I eligible to vote in the runoff? 

Under state law and local codes, you must be registered to vote 30 days before an election to be eligible to vote in it. For this runoff, that means the last day to have registered to be eligible for this election was April 14. 

I didn’t vote in the regular election. Can I vote in the runoff? 

Yes, if you were registered to vote by April 14. Eligibility to vote in the runoff election doesn’t hinge on your participation in the regular election. In fact, voter turnout in Anchorage’s mayoral runoff elections tends to be higher than in the regular elections leading up to them. 

How do I vote? 

If you were registered to vote by April 14, your ballot package, which has materials barcoded specifically for you, should have arrived in the mail by May 7 at the address tied to your voter registration with the state

Fill out the ballot card with black or blue ink. 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 May 14 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 May 14, 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 reopen beginning May 7. 

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. 

New this year, election officials are also piloting a system called TXT2Cure to resolve signature problems from a smartphone. It involves sending a text message to the system, completing a questionnaire and submitting a photo of your ID. 

Acting Election Administrator William Northrop said 230 voters successfully used it during the regular election. 

Problems with signatures were the most common reason ballots were rejected in the regular election.  

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

Election officials mailed out 207,951 ballot packages to qualified, registered voters on Tuesday, April 30. 

If you didn’t get one or need a replacement, you can call  the city’s voter hotline at 907-243-VOTE (8683). 

Or, you can vote in person at one of the Anchorage Vote Centers starting May 7. 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 from May 7 to 14. On Election Day, May 14, they’re open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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, May 14. Election officials plan to begin publishing partial, unofficial results on the city’s website around 8:30 p.m. that night. 

More eligible ballots to be counted will continue to arrive by mail after Election Day. 

For context, through election night in the last election, officials had received about three-quarters of all the ballots cast. Within two days, they had gotten 99% of them. 

The Anchorage Assembly must certify the results for them to become official. That vote is tentatively scheduled for a special Assembly meeting on May 31. 

Have a question about the city election that we missed? 

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.

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