Muni clerk to ask Assembly to allow her three weeks to count ballots in future elections


Anchorage Municipal Clerk Barbara Jones said to an Assembly committee last week that she will be asking the Assembly to give her a third week for counting of ballots in future elections.

Jones was giving the Assembly committee a report on the recent mail-in elections, and said that counting and verifying all the ballots is too much to get done in just two weeks.

“On canvass day, you saw it is chaotic,” she said. “We are counting every single ballot. Counting and counting and counting again. It is a lot to do in two weeks. We’re going to be asking the Assembly, next year [for a code change] to make the public session of canvass … three weeks after the election.”

That would push the Assembly vote certifying the results to the fourth week after the election.

Before the municipality moved to all-mail-in elections in 2018, most elections were decided the night of Election Day.

How that extra week of counting will work in runoff campaigns in future mayoral elections is something the Assembly will need to consider. If the candidates going forward to a runoff don’t get the results for a month, it gives them little time to run a campaign.

For example, in the case of the most recent mayoral runoff, the election ended April 6, and the results weren’t certified until April 20. Ballots for the runoff went in the mail on April 22. The extension of that to April 27 certification for a May 11 runoff would mean the ballots wouldn’t be in the mail until April 28 at the earliest.


  1. Three week to “find the vote” gone are the winner by end of day or even into the morning. I know why it’s taking such a long time. The muni clerk is probably using that common core math to do her tally.

  2. This allows more time for nefarious activity. No. Elections need to occur on a day and be decided on that day. The idea that less than ethical people have more time to ‘find’ enough votes, like Al Franken or LBJ (or Gabby Giffords just to be bipartisan) defeats honest elections. There needs to be an election held and decided, and those who care enough will vote and those who choose to be lazy and uninformed will live with the consequences.

  3. No!! Have it staffed and complete by the next day. Like it always has been. Clean up voter files too!

  4. I want to see discarded ballots without verified I D and chain of possession!
    And no virgin ballots in or around the count room

  5. They already have an algorithm set before early, absentee or mail-in ballots begin. The mail-in scheme is a means for balancing out the vote. And now-without voters weighing in-the schemers want more of a chance to ‘produce’ the needed ballots. No thank you, m’am! This is not the way it’s done. AND supposedly counting at your fluctuating time window ‘sometime between 9 to 5’ is not conducive to voter integrity. WE THE PEOPLE WANT 24/7 CAMERAS!!

  6. Here’s a thought, go back to in person voting! It seems we nearly always had a winner determined when we did that!!!

  7. Aren’t these salaried positions in the Clerk’s Office? Salaried positions are intended to suck it up when necessary. If you can’t suck it up it’s time to move down the ladder to an hourly position.

  8. Counting with fingers and toes can take time. Plus you gotta figure out how many votes need to be created to overcome Eagle River.

    Seems what Anchorage really needs is a competent clerk

  9. My father was a tax accountant. My family never saw him from about the end of February until April 16th. It comes with the territory and they should be prepared. Unless, they want more time to keep a tally and manufacture votes as needed to ensure Democrat victory.

  10. It’s a safe bet Dem’s will be largely email voting in the next election. If you didn’t know that’s a “thing” now- well, it is – and they know all about it. The emailed-in votes get transcribed onto blank ballots by teams of – you guessed it – Democrat poll workers for machine counting. Of course it’s a tedious process and more time will be required. It’s just wrong that these teams of poll workers doing the transcribing don’t consist of approved partisans from the left and the right. At least then the preferences of the workers would be above board and they could “police” each other as they do their job, and we’d only have to be concerned about keeping the machines honest.

  11. Nope, their time needs to be cut to next day, tops. No more BS vote by mail. Sorry but as stated above, you are salary and that means putting in the extra hours. She can always move on and save the taxpayers the 230k a year she’s pulling in for salary and bennies.

  12. We need a new clerk if she’s too incompetent to tally votes in as timely a fashion as her predecessors.

  13. Wait. Wait a second here.
    Before the city went to all mail in voting (a scheme that costs a LOT more than voting in person by the way), they were able to declare a winner on election day. Now, they need three weeks?
    The solution is simple. No more mail in voting. See, simple. All the counting on one day, with a few days for absentee ballots. Instead of two weeks of hard work you have 24 hours of hard work.
    Unless you have another reason for wanting an all mail in election and three weeks for counting the ballots.

  14. Sorry, have to add. (Suzanne, consider adding an edit feature to the comments)
    I trust Barbara Jones about as much as I trust gas station sushi, Joe Biden in a kindergarten class, or Hillary Clinton in a rope factory. If she was telling me the sky was blue, I would walk outside to double check it.
    If she needs more time to count ballots, it is not because the work load is overwhelming. Sorry, not buying it.

  15. Your uber right wing guy wins and you’re still claiming there’s election fraud!
    Let people vote, no matter how they get their ballots in. Handicapped and elderly have a right to vote too, why burden them with physical voting when they can mail in their ballots? I work in different cities throughout Alaska and often am not in town to vote, I for one, appreciate mail in voting.

    • It’s not about right or left, it is about honesty, and we have seen politicians on both sides act shady (Gabby is still pending trial). Yes, mail voting is easy and I do wish it would work. I also wish the weather would cooperate, but it doesn’t either. Some are going to cheat and because of this we must all put forth a little extra effort. I ‘helped’ the elderly vote once, and surprise of surprises, when we finished they all voted for the democrat! One person, one honest legal vote. Sadly, the instant it leaves observed chain of custody the system fails.

    • Chris:
      Big difference between requesting a mail in ballot, and having one sent to you whether you wanted it or not.
      Elderly, handicapped, folks travelling. Not denying the right to vote. Request an absentee ballot be sent to your home, fill it in, and mail it back. See, you voted.
      Stop this everyone gets a ballot whether they want it or not BS. I have way too many examples of the postal service totally screwing up the delivery of mail to trust them with my ballot. I want to vote in person.

  16. When has it ever take three weeks? Only since the ushering in of the awful mail in voting! Get rid of it! Go back to showing up at the poles and signing in in person, and then add in voter identification. This is ridiculous. Yes, three weeks – need ample time to augment and tailor…..most certainly. NOT.

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