Chapter 5.16
BALLOTS

Sections:

5.16.010    Ballot form.

5.16.020    Preparation and distribution.

5.16.030    Sample ballots.

5.16.040    Propositions – Clarity – Conciseness.

5.16.050    Informational insert for initiatives and referendums.

5.16.010 Ballot form.

A. The ballot shall be designed with the position of names of the candidates set out in the same order in each section on each ballot used in that election. The order for placement of candidate names for each office shall be randomly determined by the borough clerk.

B. The title of the office to be filled shall be followed by the printed names of the candidates for such office, below which shall be blank lines equal in number to the candidates to be elected to such office, upon which the voter may write the names of persons not listed on the ballot. The words “Vote for no more than __________,” with the appropriate number replacing the blank, shall be placed before the list of candidates for each office. Names of candidates shall be printed as they appear upon the declaration filed with the borough clerk, except that any honorary or assumed title or prefix shall be omitted. A candidate’s name appearing on the ballot may include a nickname or familiar form of a proper name. The names of candidates shall be set out in order as provided in subsection (A) of this section.

C. The propositions to be voted on shall follow the candidates for office or shall be on separate ballots, as the borough clerk may determine. The words “yes” and “no” shall appear below each proposition.

D. Each ballot shall bear the words “Official Ballot” and the date of the election.

E. A ballot shall be printed on paper as provided in this title.

F. The ballots shall be consecutively numbered. (Ord. 2004-45 § 2, 2004. 2004 Code § 2.12.280.)

5.16.020 Preparation and distribution.

A. The borough clerk may contract for the preparation and printing of the ballots, preparation, printing and distribution of ballots without obtaining competitive bids.

B. The borough clerk shall obtain the printing of all ballots for borough elections. The borough clerk shall possess the printed ballots at least 15 days before each regular election and at least 10 days before each special and run-off election. After receipt of ballot proofs, the clerk shall notify candidates and make the proof available for inspection by any candidate whose name is on the ballot, or by his authorized agent, and any discovered mistake shall be corrected immediately.

C. The borough clerk shall arrange for delivery of ballots to each election board prior to or on the date of the election before the opening of the polls. The ballots shall be delivered in separate containers, with the number of ballots enclosed in each container clearly marked on the outside of it. A receipt for each package shall be taken from the election board to which it is delivered. (Ord. 2016-40 § 31, 2016; Ord. 2004-45 § 2, 2004. 2004 Code § 2.12.290.)

5.16.030 Sample ballots.

The borough clerk shall obtain the printing of sample ballots. Sample ballots shall be printed and clearly labeled “Sample Ballot.” Sample ballots shall be delivered to the election board in each precinct. (Ord. 2004-45 § 2, 2004. 2004 Code § 2.12.300.)

5.16.040 Propositions – Clarity – Conciseness.

All ballot propositions approved by the assembly shall be stated in a concise and clear language to avoid verbosity and with the object of informing and advising the voter of the issue in a clear and forthright manner. All ballot propositions approved by the assembly shall be stated in the affirmative and not the negative so that a yes vote will always mean that the voter approves of the affirmative of a position and not the negative; and a no vote disapproves the affirmative statement of an issue. Assembly ballot propositions shall not be used to obtain a negative result by the casting of a yes vote. Words of multi-syllables will be avoided in assembly ballot propositions, and simple sentences shall be used in preference to complex or compound sentences, with the object of making ballot propositions understandable to the average reader. (Ord. 2013-55 § 2, 2013; Ord. 2004-45 § 2, 2004. 2004 Code § 2.12.310.)

5.16.050 Informational insert for initiatives and referendums.

A. At least 15 days prior to each regular election or special election the borough clerk shall publish an insert in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner containing information approved by the assembly of a strictly factual nature pertaining to each initiative or referendum on the ballot, except as provided below in this section. Sample ballots may also be included in the insert. All information published will be displayed on the public borough website.

B. Statements advocating voter approval or rejection of initiatives or referendums may be included in the informational insert in accordance with this subsection.

1. The clerk may include statements advocating voter approval and rejection of initiatives or referendums in the election insert. The clerk shall offer authorship of the statement advocating voter approval of an initiative or referendum in the following order: to the sponsors, to an APOC-registered person or organization with the identified purpose of supporting the initiative or referendum, an individual or organization with a publicly stated interest in supporting the initiative or referendum. The clerk shall offer authorship of the statement advocating voter rejection of an initiative or referendum first to an APOC-registered person or organization with the identified purpose of opposing the initiative or referendum, then to an individual or organization with a publicly stated interest in opposing the initiative or referendum. To the extent more than one person or organization meets the criteria for authorship, preference should be given in the following order: first an APOC-registered local organization, then an APOC-registered local person, then an Alaskan organization, then an Alaskan individual.

2. The clerk will establish a deadline for the submission of a statement under this section. A statement advocating voter approval and rejection must be received by the clerk by the established deadline date.

3. A statement submitted under this section may not exceed 500 words. Articles such as “a,” “an,” and “the” will be counted as a word.

4. A statement submitted under this section must include a signer block located at the bottom of the statement. The signer block must include no more than three signers. Any signers more than the allotted three will be considered endorsements and included in the text of the statement and counted against the 500-word limit. Signers must include the signers’ full names and organizations, if any.

5. Signers shall sign a form prepared by the clerk indicating that the signers participated in the drafting of the statement.

6. The clerk will not release statements until all statements regarding the question have been received in final form and have gone to the printer.

7. The clerk may appoint a coordinator for the drafting of statements under this section.

8. Statements must be accepted by the clerk in order to be published.

9. The clerk will add a disclaimer to each initiative or referendum noting the text of the ballot proposition is presented as submitted by the petition sponsors. The clerk will add a disclaimer to each statement noting the information is the opinion of the author(s) and has been reproduced as submitted, without any changes to grammar, spelling or punctuation.

The presentation order for each initiative or referendum shall be:

a. Text of the ballot proposition or sample ballot;

b. Proposition summary approved by the assembly of a strictly factual nature;

c. A statement advocating voter approval; and

d. A statement advocating voter rejection.

10. Each statement accepted under this section shall appear in the insert with a title identifying it either as a statement advocating voter approval or a statement advocating voter rejection. If a statement is not timely submitted or accepted by the clerk then the insert shall indicate under the statement title that no eligible statement advocating that position was submitted. (Ord. 2015-59 § 2, 2015; Ord. 2015-35 § 2, 2015; Ord. 2013-55 § 3, 2013. 2004 Code § 2.12.315.)