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Anchorage Officials Discover Uncounted Ballots From April's Municipal Election
It's been a little over three months since Anchorage's municipal elections and officials recently found another problem related to election workers' lack of experience.
Anchorage city officials have discovered a batch of 141 ballots that were potentially not counted during April's election.
Assembly Chair Ernie Hall and Municipal Clerk Barbara Jones released a statement Friday, saying that the ballots were found in sealed bags in the city's vault.
The bags were supposed to only have ballots that were already run through an optical scanner and counted, but contained some possible uncounted sample ballots.
The sample ballots were used when regular ballots ran out in several precincts.
Bags from three precincts that were not part of the initial recount included 83 ballots from the ASD Education Center, 28 ballots from the UAA Diplomacy Building and 30 ballots from the Anchorage Community YMCA.
The election investigation from retired Alaska Superior Court Judge Dan Hensley found inexperience and lack of training to be the major contributing factors in the election mishap.
Hall said the election was not close enough for the 141 uncounted ballots to have any effect on the outcome, but in an attempt to improve voter confidence, he said the votes will likely be recounted and re-certified.
"It's embarrassment enough that some people didn't get to vote, and to have a vote not counted that was cast is not going to happen. Every ballot that was filled out by a registered voter is going to be counted," said Hall.
Anchorage's April municipal election has cost the city about half a million dollars.
Hall said the Anchorage Election Commission, made-up of private citizens holding the election's office accountable, will determine whether the ballots can be validated. If so, the Elections Committee, made up of assembly members responsible for overseeing elections, will recertify the election.