About 100 ballots from the 2013 Municipal Election were rejected during a public canvas held at city hall last night. The canvas, led by the Anchorage Election Commission, lasted several hours. KSKA’s Daysha Eaton was there and has the story. That’s municipal attorney Dennis Wheeler reading the names of a few of the voters whose ballots were rejected during the Public Canvas Thursday evening. More than 100 questioned ballots were rejected. Ballots were rejected for a variety of reasons — because they were cast in a district in which the voter was not registered … because they were postmarked after election day or because the voter who cast the ballot was not registered at all, among others. The 8-person Election Commission conducted the canvas with help from the clerk’s office and the municipal attorney.
Tom Cresap drove all the way from Eagle River to protest his ballot being thrown out. He says he cast an in-person absentee ballot at the Chugiak Senior Center on election day. He did everything right but, “One of the guys at the polling place there, just didn’t sign off on it. Everything else was correct. I filled everything in, signed everything, voted correctly, did all that stuff.”
Cresap was one of 11 voters whose ballots were rejected not because of any mistake of their own, but because an election official failed to sign off on them. The election commission voted unanimously to throw all 11 ballots out, arguing that they had sworn to follow municipal code, which states that votes may not be counted if election officials fail to sign off on them. That doesn’t sit well with Cresap.
“I’ve been voting here for 48 years and I voted the same way I’ve always voted. There was nothing irregular. I didn’t do anything wrong, like voting twice or anything like that. My vote has always been counted before.”