Vote by Mail: More than 52,000 ballot envelopes have been received and processed

Published: Apr. 2, 2018 at 9:20 PM AKDT
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The 2018 Anchorage municipal election is the city's first vote by mail election, and for many, it's a departure from their usual election day polling routine.

As of Monday evening, more than 52,000 ballot envelopes have been received and processed.

According to election officials, 5,000 more ballot envelopes will need to be received in order to match voter turnout from the last regular municipal election with a mayoral race in 2015.

Carolyn Hall, the Municipal Election Center's Education and Outreach Coordinator said over 25,000 voting packages were returned to the city as undeliverable to the voter.

"The reason why that happened is that the mailing information that is in the USPS system is different from what was in the voter registration database," said Hall.

Anchorage is far from the first municipality to make the move to vote by mail. King County in Washington made the transition in 2009.

Julie Wise, King County Elections Director, told KTUU that vote by mail is often times more convenient for voters.

"I know even in Washington State, I still hear people say they miss the polls, but the reality was, we were running polls we were hiring thousands of poll workers," said Wise.

Wise said a common challenge when starting vote by mail is incorrect addresses--similar to what the MOA is experiencing now.

"When mailing a ballot to an address for the first time, you are going to get undelivered ballots back from the post office," said Wise, "So that number is very high and when you first start vote by mail."

If your ballot was damaged, lost or you did not receive your ballot package in the mail, you may request a replacement ballot package by visiting one of the five Accessible Vote Centers.

Ballots must be dropped off at the Secure Drop Box locations or post marked by 8:00 p.m. on April 3rd.