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New Senate organization announced - 11/7/2012 12:48 pm

Homer Revealed - 8/22/2012 2:08 pm

Seven-day countdown - 5/25/2012 8:37 pm

Anchorage city clerk resigns (UPDATED) - 5/23/2012 10:51 am

Gara to seek re-election - 5/2/2012 2:04 pm

For one lawmaker: Good news - 4/27/2012 12:20 pm

Anticipation in the Capitol - 4/26/2012 11:38 am

Election Commission finds 1/2 of precincts ran out of ballots; recommends no investigation - 4/25/2012 5:08 pm

Assembly does not plan to certify troubled city election tonight

From Kyle Hopkins in Anchorage --

6:10 p.m. UPDATE: Her voice quavering, 23-year-old Laura Herman delivered a warning to the Assembly tonight. Investigate the election or face one angry young East Anchorage voter.

“I will activally be involved in revoking all of you because my voice is being taken away," she said.

Herman was among maybe a half dozen people who have testified tonight, calling for a third-party review of the voting process. The meeting ended at 6:15 p.m. with no vote on an investigation but Assembly members making it clear they intend to launch some kind of inquiry at a later meeting.

5:30 p.m. UPDATE:

Ernie Hall has been selected as the new Assembly chairman. Jennifer Johnston edged Elvi Gray-Jackson 6-5 to become vice chair.

5:10 p.m. UPDATE:

In 2009, the year of the last mayoral election, the city rejected 15 ballots cast by people who were registered to vote outside the city.

This year, the Election Commission rejected 159 ballots cast people who were registered to vote outside of Anchorage. That according to both new and historical numbers provided today by the city clerk.

Among the other big difference between the two elections:

-- In 2009, the city received 1,999 questioned ballots. This year there were 5,756 questioned ballots.
-- The number of absentee-in-person votes grew to a lesser degree. In 2009, the city collected 4,303 of those early votes. This year: 5,789.
-- By about this time in the ballot-counting process, there were 8,857 votes still to be counted. This year there are 14,043.

Meantime, here's a clip of unhappy Anchorage voter Karli Kay, who showed up just minutes late to today's Election Commission to find it had already adjourned:

But the commission returned moments later to hear Kay's complaint. The Election Commission chair soon found Kay in the hallway and told her that her vote had indeed been counted this year:


UPDATE: The Election Commission has rejected a total of 609 questioned and absentee ballots as ineligible, leaving 13,434 votes remaining to be counted.

Of the rejected ballots, 187 were cast by people who were not registered to vote, according to the Commission. Another 159 were cast by people registered to vote outside the city, while 142 were cast by people who registered too late.

The counting is expected to last through Friday.

ORIGINAL POST:


We should learn more shortly about the troubled April 3 city election that left some voters -- exactly how many is the big question -- unable to cast a ballot.

The Elections Commission will meet at 1:30 p.m. at City Hall. Among the numbers we'll be looking for: How many questioned and absentee-by-mail ballots have they determined are eligible to be counted? How many were rejected, and for what reasons?

After that, the tally of the last remaining votes begins. It's a process that could take until Friday, said Assembly chair Debbie Ossiander.

The Assembly was expected to certify the election tonight, but Ossiander and vice chair Ernie Hall say that's not going to happen. The Assembly will wait until the Elections Commission issues its report on the election and makes recommendations for what to do next.

Hall, who will likely become the new Assembly chair at tonight's meeting, said he favors hiring an outside investigator to review the election. He does not, however, plan to put that question to a vote tonight.

“I have no doubt that that investigation is going to occur. But they (the Elections Commision) are a key part in giving us direction," he said.

Ossiander said she's not aware of any law that requires the Assembly certify the election by a given date, but too much delay could potentially cause trouble for the school district. New school board members must be seated. The district wants to move forward on approved school bonds.

UPDATE: School board president Gretchen Guess said she's told Hall the district will "figure it out," she said in an interview.

"I’m not concerned because we will make it work," Guess said of the potential delays. "At the end of the day, the Assembly needs to do what it thinks is right and feel no pressure from us in the decision.”

Ossiander said she's asked Superintendent Carol Comeau for more information on how long the certification can wait and what the delays would mean for the school system.

(If you're looking for more info about tonight's Assembly meeting at the city website, you may have to wait. The site, muni.org, was down this morning. A spokeswoman for the mayor said city workers are trying to fix the unplanned outage.)

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