For one Anchorage super voter, his vote for mayor in the recent mail-in runoff election wasn’t counted, even though he went to great lengths to “cure” his ballot.
And even though his signature matches the one that is on file with the State of Alaska, the same signature that is on his driver’s license.
And even though he has been a super-voter since at least 2012, only missing one municipal election and having missed no state or federal elections.
Must Read Alaska is protecting the voter’s name, but has verified his story through reviewing official documents he received from the Anchorage Division of Elections / Municipal Clerk’s Office. For the purpose of this story, we’re calling him Sig Signer.
Signer voted the Anchorage mail-in ballot, as he did in 2018 and 2019, when he didn’t run into trouble with his signature. He used the same signature in 2021.
A conservative, Signer is an avid voter. So when he received an email from the Municipal Clerk saying his ballot needed to be “cured” because the signature on the outside of the envelope did not match the one on file, he acted quickly.
On May 13, Signer sent an email back to the Division of Elections with a photo copy of his driver’s license, and the proper form requested by the Elections Office. The signatures matched.
That same day, he received an email from Brandy Yeates of the Election Office, stating that “We have received your Voter Declaration and ID and will get your ballot processed.” Signer assumed his civic work was done and that he had cured his ballot.
On June 4, the Election Office sent Signer a letter letting him know he had not been able to vote because his signature didn’t match. Municipal Clerk Barbara Jones suggested that he register a new signature with the State of Alaska.
Must Read Alaska has reviewed all of Signer’s email and printed communication from the Municipal Clerk’s Office, which had given him a deadline of May 21 to submit his “voter declaration” to “cure” his ballot. The election was certified on May 25. The Election Office had eight days to let Signer know that his ballot was still not accepted.
The story illustrates an unresolved problem with the mail-in balloting system used by Anchorage, which relies on a left-leaning Election Commission to review questioned ballots and make a final determination. It’s the kind of situation that would not have occurred if Signer had gone to one of the three in-person voting locations during the weeks leading up to the election, had shown his driver’s license, signed the register, and then voted a traditional ballot.
The story also illustrates that even as aggressive as the Bronson campaign was in looking over the work of the Election Office, and as much criticism as Municipal Clerk Barbara Jones lobbed at Bronson’s volunteer election observers, there was at least one vote that was not allowed to be cast due to a human decision that a signature didn’t match.
From the election observers’ perspective, they said they felt bullied by the Municipal Clerk, and that they were kept at such a distance, they could not clearly see what was going on during the adjudication of ballots.
Must Read Alaska wants to hear from readers who had a similar experience. If you were denied the right to vote by the Municipal Clerk’s Office and Election Commission, let us know in the comment section below.