Borough waits for mayor’s race outcome

No mayor yet for the Matanuska Susitna Borough.  The vote count in the Matanuska Susitna Borough mayor’s race remains close. Incumbent Larry DeVilbiss and challenger Vern Halter were separated by 169 votes after the close of the polls last Tuesday.  Lonnie McKechnie, Borough clerk, says a candidate has to have 40 percent of the vote to win the election.

“And since the two top candidates have received more than 40 percent of the vote, there will not be a runoff election.”

The absentee and questioned ballots from the Oct. 6 Borough election will be machine counted on Monday by a two-person review board.  The results will be posted on the Borough’s website on Monday afternoon.

McKechnie says that some ballots may not be added to the vote talley.

“Really what the canvass board does is they go through and count the absentee and questioned ballots. What they are looking at is if somebody was registered on time to vote in the Borough election, whether they were registered in the Borough in the time they voted, or in the thirty day time frame, which was September 6. If somebody happened to not be registered in the Borough thirty days prior, or not registered in the state at all, those would be no-count ballots and the voters would be notified of that.”

And sometimes, a voter will vote for more than one candidate in a race. In that case, such a ballot will be hand counted.

“And that does happen ocassionally. So what we would look at is the voters intent. Is it clear that they only meant for this person, or was it not clear if they put two ovals in. We have to look at the voter’s intent, and try to determine that when we hand count.”

Candidates or their assigned observers will be allowed to attend the vote count.

The Canvass Board will present the results for certification to the Assembly at 5 pm on October 20 in the Borough Assembly Chambers a in Palmer.