Absentee ballots will decide Homer recall election

Jun 13, 2017

Voters line up at the polls in Homer.
Credit Aaron Bolton, KBBI News

The unofficial results are out for the recall election of three Homer City Council members, but it’s too close to call until the vote is certified Friday. The roughly 1,070 voters who showed up at the polls Tuesday voted in favor of keeping council members Donna Aderhold, Catriona Reynolds and David Lewis on the panel.

About 740 in-person absentee ballots were cast and another 80 were mailed out to absent voters.

Homer residents were nearly split on whether to recall Reynolds, who waited in the lobby of City Hall for the results.

Reynolds says she feels vindicated, but acknowledges the results could flip once absentee votes are counted. She added it’s been hard keeping her spirits up through the entire process.

“Having heart for it has been difficult during the last few months. I think I’ll feel better about that come the meeting on the 26,” Reynolds explained.

Aderhold obtained the most support with 54 percent of Tuesday’s voters casting their ballots in her favor. She also refrained from predicting an outcome until the numbers are official, but says it will be a relief if she retains her seat.

“I will be pleased that the community understands that we were doing our jobs,” Aderhold added.

Lewis was on his way to join supporters shortly after hearing the news. About 53 percent of voters wanted him to remain on the council.

Lewis wishes the number of no votes were larger, but has hope absentee ballots will mirror the regular votes.

“It feels good. It’s nice to hopefully have this whole thing over with and we can get back to 'normal life,' whatever that’s going to be now,” he said.

Supporters on both sides of the fence stood along Pioneer Avenue waving signs throughout the day.

The pro-recall political action committee, Heartbeat of Homer, maintained a strong presence downtown. Spokeswoman Sarah Vance noted while the vote is close, she has confidence going into Friday.  

“I think that Heartbeat has the early and absentee voters in their favor,” Vance said. “A lot of people who are working are out and wanted to get their votes in before they had to go out on the fishing fleet or go on vacation.”

Voter turnout could be around 39 percent, excluding ballots sent out electronically and via mail. In the 2016 presidential election, turnout in Homer was at about 29 percent. The recall election will be certified Friday afternoon.