How to vote in the 2023 Bethel municipal and school board elections
It’s election day in Bethel, and the polls are open for three different races. There’s the Bethel City Council election, the Lower Kuskokwim School Board election, and the Bethel Advisory School Board election. We’ll walk you through how and where to vote, and who is running. Plus, find out when you can expect to hear results.
Let’s start with who can vote, and where.
If you’re registered to vote in Bethel, and you haven’t already voted early, you can vote in the Oct. 3rd local election. If you’re not sure about your voter registration status, you can check here. If you applied for the Permanent Fund Dividend, then you’re automatically registered to vote in Alaska. If you’re not already registered to vote, it’s too late to do so, and you’ll have to wait until the next election.
There are two places to vote in town. Where you vote depends on which precinct you live in. Precinct 1 encompasses the northern neighborhoods in Bethel, and Precinct 2 contains the southerly neighborhoods. If you live in Precinct 1, you’ll vote at the Lower Kuskokwim District Office. It’s the big green building next to Bethel Regional High School at 1004 Ron Edward Memorial Drive. If you live in Precinct 2, you’ll vote at the Yupiit Piciryarait Cultural Center, located at 401 Chief Eddie Hoffman Highway.
The polls in each location are open from 8:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. Each election will be on its own ballot.
There are four seats open for Bethel City Council, and each is for a two-year term. Eight candidates are in the race. The candidates are: Henry S. Batchelor Jr, Mary “Beth” Hessler, Teresa Keller, John Lloyd, Mikayla Miller, Mark Springer, Danny Suiter, and Nick Watson.
In the Lower Kuskokwim School District Board race, six candidates are running for five seats. Three of the seats are for three-year terms and two are for one-year terms. Candidates run for seats from their villages. Four candidates are running unopposed: Oscar Active Sr. of Kongiganak, Catherine Cedars and Clarence Daniel of Bethel, and Richard Long of Kwethluk. The Coastal Villages’ seat is contested, which is a three-year term. Currently the seat is held by incumbent Janet Erik of Chefornak, and Amanda Mark of Quinhagak is challenging her.
In the Bethel Advisory School Board elections, there are five candidates vying for four open seats. Terms are for three years. The candidates are Dolly Boney, Mark Jones, Bethany Kaiser, Roxanne Saddler, and Cormac Sookram.
Unofficial results for the Bethel City Council race will likely be available on Oct. 3, around or after 9 p.m. KYUK will post them to our website and Facebook page. The unofficial results do not include mail-in ballots, questioned ballots, special needs ballots, or electronically transmitted ballots. The official results will be available on Oct. 5, and the Bethel City Council is expected to certify the election results on Oct. 10.
The unofficial results from the school board elections will be available this evening around 9 p.m. as well. You can click here to see the results in real time. They’ll be updated every 30 minutes.