Voting in Bristol Bay: Here's what you need to know

Aug 7, 2020

Information and deadlines for voting in the primary, local, and general elections this month and in the fall. The primary election is August 18. 

Dillingham City Hall, Oct. 1, 2019.
Credit Izzy Ross/KDLG

Election season is upon us! The primary election is August 18, and voting is already underway. The deadline to apply for an absentee ballot by mail is August 8. The deadline to apply for an absentee ballot online is August 17. 


For general information on voting in Alaska, visit the state’s Q&A site

Three elections are being held in Dillingham and the Bristol Bay Borough.

  • The primary election on August 18
  • Local municipal election on October 6
  • The general election on November 3. 


In-person absentee voting is underway in Dillingham. City Hall is still locked, so to vote in person before the August 18 primary, call to make an appointment at 907-842-5212. 

The state encourages all voters who have health concerns to vote by mail or through an online absentee ballot, although no one is required to do so. If you choose to apply for a ballot online, you will have to print the ballot out, fill it out, and return it via mail or fax. 

On August 18, voters can go to the polls in person to vote in the primary election at the Dillingham City Hall. The polling places will also follow all CDC recommendations and state health mandates. Poll workers will be provided with Personal Protective Equipment, such as face shields, masks, and gloves. Election officials will also be required to disinfect all areas throughout the day. Hand sanitizer will be available for voters to use.


The City of Dillingham will start accepting candidate filings on August 11. Candidate filing ends September 1.

Open Seats for Candidacy:

There are two city council seats up for grabs in Dillingham — seats C and D. There are also two School Board seats — seats B and C — up for election. All council and school board seats up for election are three year terms. 

People can file for candidacy by appointment during regular work hours, Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call to set up an appointment, 907-842-5212.


To qualify, candidates must be registered to vote, a resident of the City of Dillingham for at least a year immediately prior to the election, and file a declaration of candidacy form with the city clerk’s office. 


Dillingham Census Area

Villages across the Dillingham Census Area also have polling places open for in-person absentee voting on the August 18 primary. Certain communities also have in-person voting on the day of the primary. 

Bristol Bay Borough

In-person absentee voting is currently available in the Bristol Bay Borough Assembly Room. It is available through August 17 at the borough clerk’s office. The hours are Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The borough clerk has PPE, and masks are available for people to vote. Voters can use the assembly room door and call the number provided to enter the building. 

King Salmon, South Naknek and Naknek will all have a polling place on election day for in-person voting. Election workers and polling staff will have PPE.

Open Seats for Candidacy:

The Bristol Bay Borough has one mayor seat, one assembly seat, and two school board seats open. All are three year terms.

Nominating petitions must be submitted to the borough clerk no later than Monday, August 17, at 4:30 p.m. 

The borough is offering training for the new assembly members and the mayor in November.

Lake and Peninsula

Lake and Peninsula Borough residents vote by mail, but there is also in-person voting before the primary in several communities, as well as in-person voting on the August 18 primary. 

For by-mail voting, the borough sends out ballots and residents then respond with the completed ballot. Lake and Pen has a full list of requirements to nominate a candidate for an assembly or school board seat on its website

Contact the author at or 907-842-2200.