Anchorage assembly looks at vote by mail results and changes leadership positions

Published: Apr. 17, 2018 at 8:36 PM AKDT
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The Anchorage Assembly Tuesday evening certified the results of the city's first vote by mail election, where 79,295 ballots were cast, according to the Municipal Clerk's Office.

The municipality is looking into what worked and what didn't work with the vote-by-mail system.

Voter turn out was significantly higher than 2017. The vote-by-mail election had voter turn out at 36.31% compared to 23.20% in 2017.

The total number of ballots rejected numbered 671. The largest amount, 294, was because the ballot return envelope was postmarked after election day. 100 ballots were rejected for not having a signature match on the ballot return envelope.

According to the Municipal Clerk's Office, 779 "cure letters" were sent to voters because their ballots had problems, such as the return envelope was not signed, the signature did not match the state voter database or the state didn't have the voter's signature on record.

Barbara Jones, Anchorage Municipal Clerk, said most voters responded, but that 166 ballots of voters who received the letters were rejected by the Election Commission because issues could not be resolved.

Jones said the election office will continue to study the results from the vote-by-mail election and make improvements.

Assembly members also voted Tuesday evening to change leadership positions. Forrest Dunbar was voted Assembly Chair and Eric Croft was voted the new Vice Chair.