The Anchorage city clerks office is calling the voter turn out in yesterday’s election “unprecedented.” The office is investigating the election, working today to figure out which voting precincts ran out of ballots. Voters reported widespread ballot shortages. Mayor Dan Sullivan was reelected by a wide margin. But his main challenger Paul Honeman, is not conceding given the voting irregularities. It’s Clerk Barbara Gruenstiens 9th time running Anchorgage Municipal Elections, and she says she’s never seen anything like what happened Tuesday.
“We heard that there was somebody spreading information that you could show up at any precinct and register to vote that day and vote that day and your vote would count, and that’s incorrect information.”
In fact, you had to register 30 days before voting day to have your vote count. That somebody who spread mis-information, according to multiple reports is Jim Minnery with the anti-proposition group, “Protect Your Rights.” Minnery sent out a last minute email urging unregistered voters to swamp polling places and vote against the Anchorage Equal Rights Initiative. Minnery says he got bad information from the municipal clerks office.
Gruenstien says the municipal lawyer is reviewing the impact of the voting problems. And election workers are systematically reviewing all the votes:
“What we’re doing right now is the workers are going through the 119 precinct bags that came back. They’re looking at the registers and looking at the commentary sheets form the poll workers and trying to assess how many ballots there will be and kind of what happened at each precinct, whether they used sample ballots, whether they got extra ballots added to their total, so just trying to get an assessment of how many more ballots there are to look at.”
The number of votes that are tallied on the municipal website now is the number of ballots that slid through the acuvote machines. Two of the 121 precincts did not have ‘acuvote’ machines – U.A.A. and Ted Stevens International Airport.