Reasons for ballot rejection: Signatures, postmarks


The Alaska Division of Elections Review Board says that the top reason that ballots were rejected during the special congressional primary election was due to missing witness signatures. Over 36% of the 7,489 ballots rejected were missing the witness signature. Another 26% had late postmarks, and 21% were missing an identifier.

For example, in District 12 Eagle River, 5,645 ballots were received, with 23 not having an identifier matching voter records, 2 ballots hand delivered after election day, 1 duplicate ballot, 1 empty ballot envelope, 44 with no identifier provided, 1 with registration inactive, 43 postmarked after Election Day, 1 voter not registered, 58 improper or insufficient witnessing and 10 that were unsigned by voters.

In District 39 Nome, 1,756 ballots were accepted, and 296 rejected. Of those rejected, 34 had an identifier that did not match voter records, 1 was a duplicate ballot, 45 had no identifier provided, 2 came from people who registered too late, 4 ballots were received too late, 174 had improper or insufficient witness signatures, 36 voters neglected to sign their ballot envelope.

The mail-in congressional special primary is part of the process for determining who will fill the remaining term of the late Congressman Don Young, who died March 18. Until that is decided by voters, Alaska is without representation in the U.S. House of Representatives. The special general election for this seat is Aug. 16, at the same time the regular primary is conducted for House, Senate, Governor, and state House and Senate districts.

All the districts’ raw data on rejected ballots is contained in this PDF:


  1. The irony is that probably ANY signature would have been accepted since signatures were not compared.

  2. I’ve been an election worker at the last national primary and last national election. Both ran smooth. The longer I’m a voter, the more I think that the mail in ballot idea is a huge waste of money. Let’s go back to voting in person.

  3. Hmmm, could it be that some citizens are too dumb to vote? Consider that understanding instructions essentially governs the things we purchase, the food we consume, the medicines we take and our financial affairs. Yet thousands of Alaskans apparently could not follow simple instructions for a mail-in ballot. Undoubtedly we can expect that progressives will demand that we further dumb down the procedures for mail-in ballots. Probably the next step is clairvoyant voting.

  4. I’m sure the leftist/dem voting block was well informed the witness signature was needed… this place is becoming a hell hole.

  5. So how do people get ballots if they registered too late? These were mail out ballots so how did they get a ballot at all? How did people get a ballot with no identifier? Were they copied? The Lt. Gov. in his column this morning said all is well with elections. Here’s some more problems Lt Gov Meyer. How can this indicate a safe election system?

  6. Almost all of the rejected ballots would have been counted if the voters spent a minute reading the instructions. Except the few trying to cheat of course.

  7. Do we call these people “low information” voters? Or just dumb? The voter rejection numbers make me wonder if these rejected ballot voters would even bother to vote in a “normal” election where they had to go to a polling place and fill out a ballot there. I found the directions very easy to follow to make my vote count. However, I am a 75 year old white male with a high school diploma who can read and write fairly well which probably makes me a white supremacist.

    • YES, also a semi-alternative is filling out your ballot at home THEN TAKING it IN PERSON during the absentee balloting (Anchorage City Hall or at the Gambell Street Election office, during this past election) and after SIGNING it, and witnessing(they check your ID for signature) before you drop it into the box (they check if you missed completing it correctly.)

  8. Rules are rules. If you don’t follow the rules, you don’t play. Very simple. Even a third-grader understands.

  9. In person voting is SO much better. Sadly many People are careless with mail in ballots. They are paying attention and they aren’t serious about what they are doing. We should NOT make it easier for them

  10. Mail in voting is proving to be much more trouble than the old fashioned in person voting with photo ID. Enough of this nonsense!

  11. The Refreshments opined in their magnum opus: ‘Banditos’ that, “Everybody knows, the world is filled with stupid people…” Do we really want people who can’t follow simple instructions casting a ballot for any candidate or issue? Just because you can, doesn’t mean that you should…

  12. So, by and large, what the mail in system does is create a voter qualification test…a simple one but a test none the less

    • Amazing isn’t it. I wonder when they will try and overturn the 24th Amendment and reintroduce the poll tax?

  13. If, as we are told, these ballots were sent to registered voters only then how is it possible there are ballots that were rejected because the voter had inactive an registration, or the voter was not registered, or the ballots came from people who registered too late? It sure seems like all of those groups of people should not have been sent a ballot to begin with since they aren’t a registered voter…if ballots are only sent to registered voters.

  14. I personally think that the instructions for the recent ‘mail in’ election were unclear and it was difficult to find clear information. The card sent in the mail to ‘eligible’ voters stated that ‘You must return your ballot by June 11th’ but it did not clarify that if mailed, ballot needed to be postmarked by that date, not just dropped in the mailbox. The card also states that polling places would not be open on ‘election day’, which would have made it difficult to vote in person on ‘election day’. The whole process seemed to be set up to discourage voting and/or to find ways to reject ballots that did not meet these unclear ‘rules’.

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