Today (12/18) is the last day of voting for Petersburg’s mail-in borough election. By yesterday (Monday), the state had received about eleven-hundred ballots back. That’s about 45 percent of the registered voters in Petersburg and surrounding areas that would be included in the proposed borough. Ballots have to be postmarked by today (12/18).
If the vote passes, the city government would dissolve and become a borough government with taxation and planning authority over an area that’s about 83 times the size of the current city boundaries. It would include the small city of Kupreanof as well as a number of other neighborhoods, residences and businesses for a total population gain of roughly 10 percent. There are some substantial private land holdings, but most of the additional area is uninhabited National Forest land.
The borough would encompass the Petersburg’s home island of Mitkof as well as Woewodski to the south and about half of Kupreanof Island to the west. It also includes the mainland territory from Le Conte Bay up to Holkum Bay just south of the Juneau Borough Boundary.
The City and Borough of Juneau submitted a petition to annex some of that same territory and it’s mounted a legal challenge over that issue.
The State Division of Elections is administering the vote and expects to post unofficial results online as early as 5:30 this evening. The target date for certifying the election is January 3rd.
The division will continue counting ballots it receives up till then, as long as they are postmarked by today. Ballots can also be dropped off at the city of Petersburg today and there’s in-person voting still available at the Petersburg’s City Council Chambers until 5 p.m this evening.