The Municipal Attorney for Anchorage has issued an opinion on the validity of last week’s election. Attorney Dennis Wheeler says it’s unlikely that voting problems due to a ballot shortage will invalidate the election.
In a memo Wheeler detailed a previous ruling on a similar ballot shortage during 1989 elections.
“It was similar in that there were some hot button issues that drew people out, there was tobacco tax and sale of the telephone utility. There weren’t enough ballots at the precincts, the election commission investigated and rendered a special report to the assembly and they had to decide whether that event appears to be why the ballot requirement,” Wheeler said.
The Clerk’s office has been working to sort out what happened during the April 3 election. They’ve reviewed all 121 voting precincts, and found more than 6,000 “questioned” ballots. In addition they’ve counted nearly 1,500 unscanned ballots.
“My preliminary opinion was that based on what we’d seen from prior opinions and prior election contests that the percentages between the winning candidates and the percentage of victory for the propositions was so great that it was unlikely that there would be a change,” Wheeler said.
Wheeler and the Election Commission will present reports to the Anchorage Assembly soon. Then the Assembly will decide whether the election is valid.
The Clerk’s office is collecting information from voters who attempted to vote, but were unable to because of the ballot shortage to contact the Clerk’s office.
Ballot Review Updates from the Office of the Municipal Clerk:
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