Deluge doesn't dampen election turnout

Elections worker says turnout seemed better than last month's state primary

Posted: Tuesday, October 01, 2002

Heavy rain and a morning wind advisory didn't appear to keep people away from the polls for today's city election.

Poll workers at the Juneau Airport precinct at the Nugget Mall were reporting average turnout. At 9:20 a.m., 50 of the precinct's 1,250 registered voters had cast ballots, said chairman Tom Perkins, an elections worker for 10 years.

Turnout seemed to be better than last month's state primary, he said.

"Most people here vote after work and some at lunch," he said. "This one is pretty normal."

As of 10 a.m., the National Weather Service had measured 0.42 inches of rain in downtown Juneau during the past 24 hours. A wind advisory was issued for the area early today, but didn't seem to affect campaign supporters holding signs at the 10th Street and Egan Drive intersection during morning rush hour.

For more Juneau Empire coverage of the October 1 municipal elections, please visit the Juneau Empire Elections Guide.

The city ballot includes a $15 million general obligation bond proposition to fund harbor, water and sewer upgrades. Three Juneau Assembly incumbents are being challenged in their bids for re-election and eight people are running for two open Juneau School Board seats. All voters have a say in all three Assembly races, regardless of district.

At Mendenhall Valley Precinct 1 in the Mendenhall Center, 71 of 2,227 registered voters had cast ballots as of about 9 a.m., according to poll workers. Precinct chairwoman Nancy Hilbert said she didn't have data to compare this morning's turnout to previous years, but there was a steady stream of people stopping by.

Polls are open until 8 p.m. and election results should start coming in at 8:15 p.m., according to City Clerk Laurie Sica.

"We haven't had any major glitches in the system," she said. "People in Juneau are used to the rain."

The public is welcome to watch the election results be tabulated at the Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School commons this evening, Sica said. Parking will be available in the lower lot and counting should be finished by 9:30 p.m., she said. Results will be posted on juneauempire.com.

Most voters this morning didn't list a specific issue that drew them to the polls. Scott Willis took a break from work to vote at the Lemon Creek Precinct at Alaska Electric Light and Power.

"There were no specific issues, I voted because I try to vote all the time," he said. "I wasn't inflamed about any particular thing."

Bernie Brown, a boat owner who cast his ballot at the Mendenhall Center this morning, said he was concerned about the state of local harbors, but always tries to vote.

"It's my civic duty," he said. "I get to vote, so I vote."

Joanna Markell can be reached at joannam@juneauempire.com.

City election details

• Six candidates are running for three Assembly seats. Vote for one in each race.

• Eight candidates are running for two at-large School Board seats. Vote for two.

• One bond issue proposition is on the ballot, which would raise $15 million for docks, harbors and utilities. Vote yes or no.

• Voting continues until 8 p.m. today.

• A list of polling places is available at juneauempire.com/elections/.

• Some precincts have changed. To learn where to vote, call 586-5278.



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