The Kenai Borough Assembly unanimously passed an ordinance at its June 15 meeting which aims to ensure greater public confidence in local elections.

Introduced by Assemblyman Jesse Bjorkman, the new law codifies a number of policies. This includes announcing election results at each polling place when polls close, requiring that election tape results be transported by at least two members of the election board to the borough clerk, implementing new security measures for election equipment and chain of custody procedures to track the movement of voting equipment and ballots.

The ordinance also ensures that ballot tabulators undergo public testing prior to elections, and it establishes procedures for questioned or unaccounted ballots, as well as enacting a provision for candidates to appoint poll watchers during the election.

With regard to absentee voting the ordinance clarifies who can attest to signature verifications and establishes that at least one of three unique pieces of personal identification is required for absentee voters to authenticate their identity. These include a person’s voter identification number, date of birth, or the last four digits of their social security number.

Lastly, a new subsection addresses voter fraud, misconduct and/or plural voting.

Seven people spoke during the public comment period prior to the vote. Nearly every speaker expressed gratitude to the Assembly for improving election security and voter confidence.

“I was very encouraged by all the public testimony tonight,” Bjorkman said just prior to the vote. “This change in code just involves some major things.”

The new procedures will go into effect at the upcoming borough election in October.

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Kenai passes election integrity law to improve security, voter confidence

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 24 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.


  • Vonda Sanders says:

    Awsome glad to hear that!

  • Neil A DeWitt says:

    Great, thank you. Now can tge rest of Alaska do the same? This mail in garbage might be nice for tge sick, lame and lazy but 13 hours to get to the poles and vote! You can do it. With the mail in it needs to end two weeks prior to election. That way all ballots can be counted and reported in a timely manor. A running count at the end of election night. This wait a week or two then it another week to certify nobody ever knows who won/lost! It stinks! It needs to change, NOW!

    • Matthew says:

      Wasilla next! And Palmer! And then and then!!!

    • brad says:

      well said. im still concerned about the dominion machines, i sure lost confidence when the hack occurred and voters info got out after the last election, anything digital can be stolen or altered, this needs to be addressed asap love the ideal about the two week mail in voting deadline