A petition calling for an independent review of Anchorage’s botched April 3 election has been delivered to the municipal clerk’s office. Some Assembly members said they might support an independent review at this week’s meeting. The delivered petition had the signatures of 580 Alaskans, said Barbara Gazaway, an election precinct chair who began gathering signatures after experiencing her own glitches in the East Anchorage polling place where she worked. She launched the petition the day after the election as reports surfaced that numerous precincts suffered ballot shortages, forcing many people to try voting at more than one polling place or to cast votes on sample or photocopied ballots.
The problems at Gazaway’s precinct were less significant than those faced by other sites, said Gazaway, an election worker for four years. When she realized the precinct might run out of ballots, she called the “trouble shooter” about mid-afternoon for help. More ballots arrived in less than an hour. “We had no problems with supplies,” she said.
But her Diebold AccuVote machine worked poorly, sometimes refusing to accept ballots and rejecting the “ender” card that tells the machine voting is done at the end of the day. The “trouble shooter” helped there, too, arriving about 9:30 p.m. to assist. They knocked the machine, blew some compressed air into it, and read the manual, which suggested they restart it. That worked.