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Assembly Passes Election Law Rewrite, Weighs Ethics of Election Date Change

By | January 15, 2014

An Anchorage Assembly meeting in December 2012. Photo by Daysha Eaton, KSKA - Anchorage

An Anchorage Assembly meeting in December 2012. Photo by Daysha Eaton, KSKA – Anchorage

The Anchorage Assembly passed a rewritten version of Anchorage’s election law Tuesday night. But some other election issues went to the Ethics Board for review.
The Anchorage Assembly worked on several election-related items. They updated the city’s election law after making a handful of amendments. One amendment that drew a lot of attention limits poll watchers’ use of electronic devices. They are not allowed to make or receive phone calls in the polling area or to photograph or record confidential information there. Additional amendments removed references to the Accu-vote election system and replaced them with the more general term optical scan system. The Assembly also added language to insure that poll watchers could observe during setup and tear down at polling places. And they extended the time for a recount from five to nine days. Officials began reviewing the law after problems with an election in 2012.

The Assembly also referred a new version of an ordinance crafted by Assembly member Chris Birch to the Municipal Board of Ethics. The ordinance would change the election date. The substitute version includes a new section that would allow Assembly members to participate in official actions on matters in which they have a substantial financial interest. They scheduled a public hearing on both of those for February 11th.

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