Muni Attorney Issues Opinion On Validity Of Last Week’s Election

The Municipal Attorney for Anchorage has issued an opinion on the validity of last week’s election. Attorney Dennis Wheeler says it’s unlikely that voting problems due to a ballot shortage will invalidate the election.

In a memo Wheeler detailed a previous ruling on a similar ballot shortage during 1989 elections.

“It was similar in that there were some hot button issues that drew people out, there was tobacco tax and sale of the telephone utility. There weren’t enough ballots at the precincts, the election commission investigated and rendered a special report to the assembly and they had to decide whether that event appears to be why the ballot requirement,” Wheeler said.

The Clerk’s office has been working to sort out what happened during the April 3 election. They’ve reviewed all 121 voting precincts, and found more than 6,000 “questioned” ballots. In addition they’ve counted nearly 1,500 unscanned ballots.

“My preliminary opinion was that based on what we’d seen from prior opinions and prior election contests that the percentages between the winning candidates and the percentage of victory for the propositions was so great that it was unlikely that there would be a change,” Wheeler said.

Wheeler and the Election Commission will present reports to the Anchorage Assembly soon. Then the Assembly will decide whether the election is valid.

The Clerk’s office is collecting information from voters who attempted to vote, but were unable to because of the ballot shortage to contact the Clerk’s office.

Ballot Review Updates from the Office of the Municipal Clerk:


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Daysha Eaton is a contributor with the Alaska Public Radio Network.

Daysha Eaton holds a B.A. from Evergreen State College, and a M.A. from the University of Southern California. Daysha got her start in radio at Seattle public radio stations, KPLU and KUOW. Before coming to KBBI, she was the News Director at KYUK in Bethel. She has also worked as the Southcentral Reporter for KSKA in Anchorage.

Daysha's work has appeared on NPR's "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered", PRI's "The World" and "National Native News". She's happy to take assignments, and to get news tips, which are best sent via email.

Daysha became a journalist because she believes in the power of storytelling. Stories connect us and they help us make sense of our world. They shed light on injustice and they comfort us in troubled times. She got into public broadcasting because it seems to fulfill the intention of the 4th Estate and to most effectively apply the freedom of the press granted to us through the Constitution. She feels that public radio has a special way of moving people emotionally through sound, taking them to remote places, introducing them to people they would not otherwise meet and compelling them to think about issues they might ordinarily overlook.

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