Dan Sullivan won another term as mayor of Anchorage beating his main rival Paul Honeman and four other candidates in Tuesday’s elections. Proposition 5 was defeated. All the other major propositions passed.
Tuesday’s election was marked by some challenges at a number of polling places. Early Tuesday evening, voters began reporting that polling places were running out of ballots. Lisa Reider-Bott says that’s what happened at the Eagle River Lions Club.
“I waited in line a few moments and the ballot gal notified us that they had run out of ballots, that they had called that in,” she said. “They were going to try to get more ballots out there, but they didn’t know if or when and she understood that several other voting precincts had also run out of ballots.”
It’s not clear yet, exactly how many precincts ran out of ballots, but postings on social media sites indicated the problem was widespread. Karen Goretz helped run the polling place for Precinct 735, at Diamond Baptist Church. She says they were flooded with out-of-precinct voters, so they had to use a copy machine to create their own ballots.
“We used the sample ballots which have the information on it and normally say unofficial, sample practice,” Goretz said. “We crossed that out and then we wrote official ballot and we separated those. It was the best we could do.”
Municipal election officials said those ballots will be filed as ‘questioned ballots’, which means they will have to be verified and recorded by hand. Jacqueline Duke is the deputy clerk at city hall. She counts the votes. Duke said her office always orders enough ballots for 70 percent of the registered voters in Anchorage. But this election, that just wasn’t enough.
There also was a problem with unregistered voters casting ballots. In order for your vote to count, you had to be registered to vote 30 days prior to the election. Verifying and counting the question ballots could take days or even weeks, officials said. The ballots will be certified by April 17th.