The Anchorage Election Commission just released their report on the April 3rd Municipal election. They are asking the Assembly to adopt their report and certify the election. But they did find some problems and made several recommendations. KSKA’s Daysha Eaton explains.
The Municipal Election Commission released their report in a public meeting at City Hall in Anchorage late Wednesday. In the report, they discussed information gathered from voters through email and interviews. Election Commission Chair Gwen Matthew categorized the problems reported by voters:
“Long line, not able to vote or wait, sample or photocopied ballots deterred them, didn’t try to vote because of people telling them they were no more ballots at the precinct, not eligible to vote, technical problems with the Acuvote machine, not being on the precinct register.”
The Commission reported taking information from 182 people. But the total number of voters they were unable to verify was low, 33 voters. The Commission found there were enough ballots for 70 percent of voters; however, certain ballot types ran out and voting machine are calibrated to receive only the ballots for that precinct. In addition, the commission found that an insufficient number of ballots were distributed to polling places. The commission made several recommendations. Matthew.
“One, that when ballots are ordered a formula of 70 percent of registered voters per precinct be employed, not merely 70 percent overall. Two, that the municipal clerk takes a more active role in strategic planning, supervising ballot ordering, training of staff and general oversight. Three, that restructuring of office personnel occur to include hiring of additional election specific personnel, such as coordinator and recruiter.”
The Commission made 9 recommendation in all, including that ballot banks be established at major distribution hubs, that the phone bank at election central be operated by knowledgeable personnel … and that the city be required to distribute to all households a pamphlet detailing general voting information. That said, Matthew explained that all indications are that the ballot shortages were the result of ‘unintended error on the part of the clerk’s office.
“While this created chaos during the final hours of the Mayoral Election. The problem did not meet the standards of malconduct, fraud or reckless indifference on the part of anyone involved. the commission does not recommend a new election or an independent investigation.”
Their final recommendation was for the Assembly to certify the April 3rd election. The Assembly is set to consider certification at a special meeting on Thursday May 3rd.