The complaints are founded: Some conservative-leaning voters in West and South Anchorage have still not received their ballots from the Municipal Clerk for the election that ends on April 5. Those ballots were supposed to be in the mail on March 15 from a post office in Washington State. They must be postmarked by April 5.
In the south Jewell Lake, Sand Lake, and Campbell Lake areas, a survey of homes on Saturday found that five of 28 households had not received ballots in neighborhoods south of Dimond Blvd. Two of those five people surveyed knew of two additional neighbors (not reached by surveyors because they were not home) for a total of seven known people not having received their ballots out of 28 surveyed.
This is the district where candidate Liz Vazquez and Kameron Perez-Verdia are vying for the District 3 Assembly seat. Perez-Verdia is the incumbent, and Vazquez is the conservative.
Dozens of midtown voters are also saying they haven’t received ballots. Volunteers have identified more than two dozen people so far who confirm they have not received a ballot.
Additionally, at least two voters who did not get ballots tried to vote at the Loussac Library and were given “questioned ballots” that had no candidates on them, only bond issues. The two reported the problem to election workers who then printed out new ballots for them.
Meanwhile, 16,750 ballots that were mailed from Washington state have not been deliverable to households. The return address for those ballots is not the Washington state post office from where they were mailed, but the post office at the Anchorage airport. Every day, election workers go to the airport post office and pick up bins of undeliverable ballots, averaging about 2,000 a day. The ballots have yellow sticky labels that say “return to sender.” Some have handwritten messages from the people living at the address, telling postal delivery workers that the addressee is no longer living there.
The ballots then go into a cage at the Anchorage Election Office at Ship Creek, and are wrapped in cellophane. No one knows whether those ballots contain the ones not being delivered to West, South, and Midtown Anchorage residents because no one takes another look at those ballots. Volunteer observers do not have access to them to see if they just have a transposed number or if there was another mistake.
What to do if you didn’t get a ballot? Those who do not have a ballot should go to the Loussac Library or City Hall and request one. But voters need to be aware that if workers give them a ballot that has nothing but the bonds on it, they should hand it back and request a ballot with their proper candidates on it.