Alaska Senate Democrats have sent a letter to the Division of Elections and the lieutenant governor demanding answers for the very high rejection rates of mail-in ballots in the special primary election for the United States Congress.
According to Division of Elections data, one area of Alaska had more than 17% of all ballots received so far rejected. Reasons for being rejected include not having a signature or voting more than once.
The Division of Elections showed a 9% rejection rate in the Mountain View neighborhood of Anchorage, and 15.2% and 17.4% rejection rates respectively in the rural areas of Bering Straits/Yukon Delta and Bethel/Lower Kuskokwim.
“This incredible rate of ballots being thrown out in Alaska’s first mail-in election is absolutely unacceptable,” said Sen. Bill Wielechowski.
Democrat candidates received less than 15% of the overall vote in the special primary, something about which the Alaska Democratic Party has to be concerned.
“These numbers, if verified, mean Alaska Natives and other minorities and residents from less affluent areas have been denied their right to vote. Vote by mail works, but only if implemented so that all citizens have a chance for their vote to be counted,” said Senate Minority Leader Tom Begich (D-Anchorage).
In the 2020 primary, 1,240 ballots were rejected out of 62,455 mail-in votes cast. That was a rejection rate of 2%. But it appears that the Democrats are queuing up for a lawsuit over the election, which was held as mail-in only.
But the rejection rate in Bush Alaska is similar to what it has been in the past, according to election experts.
“Every Alaskan, who is registered to vote, deserves to participate in our elections and their votes must be counted. While the Division of Elections has done a good job running our elections in the past, Alaskans need to know why so many ballots were discarded in our first, statewide by-mail election in this June election. We need answers now so Alaskans can maintain their confidence in future elections,” said Sen. Scott Kawasaki (D-Fairbanks).
Turnout ( ballots logged in, before processing) from around the state:
- Northwest Arctic: 13%
- Nome: 14.5%
- Bethel 16.5%
- North Slope 18.3%
- Anchorage 22%
- Yukon-Koyokuk: 22.7%
- Fairbanks 24%
- Mat-Su 24.3%
- Kenai: 28%
- Petersburg: 29%
- Wrangell 29.7%
- Juneau 29.3%
- Haines 28.9%
- Denali borough 30.2%
- Copper River Census Area 32.3%