Matanuska-Susitna Borough

Polls: Yes to Roads, Police Plan, Date Change

Mat-Su | Patty Sullivan | Tuesday, October 02, 2018

Nearly 11,000 people went to the polls tonight in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough election. Unofficial results show that voters said Yes to road bonds, Yes to the police powers research advisory question and Yes to moving the Borough election date to November to match the State’s election day.

Voter turnout at the precincts was nearly 14 percent.

On races, Borough Mayor Vern Halter leads former Planning Commissioner Bruce Walden in the bid for mayor. Challenger Jesse Sumner leads incumbent Barbara Doty for Assembly District 6 by 248 votes. Willow resident Tamara Boeve leads in District 7 for Assembly. Challenger Tom Bergey is ahead of incumbent School Board Member Deborah Retherford by 106 votes at the polls. School Board Member Sarah Welton leads in the race for the School Board seat in District 4 by 116 votes over challenger Brittany Harvey. Assembly Member George McKee ran unchallenged and garnered some 1,078 votes at the polls. 

Some 2,040 absentee ballots were issued and were not counted tonight, which could affect some results. The Borough’s Canvass Board will begin work tomorrow by checking precinct results and absentee ballot accountability. Then the Canvass Board will review the eligibility of 2,040 absentee ballots, 439 questioned ballots and 12 special needs ballots. The last step is the Review Board counting the confirmed ballots. Election certification is scheduled for Oct. 16, 2018.

Here's the election results link:


Three questions were on the ballot for voters to consider.  


Should the Borough investigate and consider steps to develop a proposal that adds police powers?

Any future plan to obtain police powers will require additional voter approval.

6,397 Yes, 4,393 No.

The Borough has no police powers.


At the polls-6,090 Yes, 4,574 No.

The bond package has 10 road projects with the Borough’s portion of the cost at $23.8 million or half the cost. Fifty percent matching funds must be obtained from other sources.

PRO—Improves safety and reduces traffic congestion.

PRO—Provides new connector roads between highways

CON—Requires annual maintenance. 

CON—Increases property taxes by $19.50 per every $100,000 in property value.


Shall the borough election move from the 1st Tues. in Oct. to the first Tues. in Nov. (shall it share the same election day as the State?)

At the Polls-Yes 5,590, No 5,157.

PRO—likely be an increase in voter turnout every two years when State and Federal elections are occurring on the same day

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

CON—The Borough would have to pay some $300,000 for voting machines.

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

CON—There will be 2 lines to stand in on one night

For more information contact Public Affairs Director Patty Sullivan at (907) 355-0103 or The Clerk’s office at 861-8683.