Matanuska-Susitna Borough

Election Date Change Pros and Cons List

Mat-Su | Stefan Hinman | Tuesday, October 02, 2018

A Citizen Initiative on the Ballot for the Oct. 2, 2018 Borough Election



Shall the Borough election move from the 1st Tuesday in October to the 1st Tuesday in November, following the 1st Monday? (i.e. share the same election day as the State?

****While not a comprehensive list, the following are pros & cons for the question on whether to change the Borough election date from October to November****



PROs and CONs

PRO:   Based upon historical numbers there would likely be an increase in voter turnout every two years when State and Federal elections are occurring on the same day.

CON:   The Denali Borough shares its election with the State and according to the Denali Borough Clerk, the percentage of voter turnout is higher on State and Federal election years but is lower in the years that only the municipal election is occurring.

PRO:   Voters will only have to remember a single date on which to vote.

CON:   Voters will have to stand in two lines, one for State and one for Borough elections to vote.

PRO:   The patriotic energy from State and Federal elections will energize voters for the local elections.

CON:   With two ballots to vote during State/Federal election years (every other year) and one ballot to vote during the municipal election (every year), voter confusion may result.

PRO:   Voters deciding on State and Federal issues, may add their previously absent voice to local issues because they are already at the polls.

CON:  The cities of Houston, Palmer, and Wasilla will still have an October election, as this does not change the cities election date.

PRO:   A larger pool of election workers will be needed as there will be two election official teams at each precinct and absentee/early voting locations. Two teams offers opportunities for more people to get involved in elections and get paid.

CON:   The Borough and the State share the majority of the pool of local election workers. Additional officials are somewhat difficult to recruit. The Borough may have to increase pay and compete with the State to secure election workers in order to run a viable election.

PRO:   The State Division of Elections could run the Borough election, offering an independent overview.

CON:   The State Division of Elections has informed the Borough that the State cannot run the Borough elections.

PRO:   If Denali Borough can hold their municipal election with the State and Federal election, then it must be possible.

CON:   Just like the Denali Borough, it will be two separate elections being conducted simultaneously which would include: two separate election boards, two-separate voting lines, two separate ballots, two separate ballot boxes.

PRO:   The Mat-Su Borough voters will know in one election who was elected to represent them on the local, state, and federal levels which saves time and money.

CON:   The Borough uses the State’s voting equipment in the October election. With a November election, the Borough would not have election equipment to use on election day. Borough ballots would be tabulated at a later time or the Borough would purchase/lease equipment at a cost anticipated to be over $300,000.