Still have your ballot? Here’s how to make sure your vote counts

If you’ve left your Anchorage mail-in ballot to today, the final day of the run-off election that will decide whether the city’s next mayor is progressive Anchorage Assemblyman Forrest Dunbar and extreme-right conservative Dave Bronson, dropping it in the mailbox won’t guarantee it’s counted.

That’s because ballots dropped in mailboxes and post office boxes today aren’t guaranteed to be postmarked today, which is the requirement for ballots to be counted.

“If you plan to return your ballot by mail Mon or Tues, make sure you go into the post office and have it postmarked by hand,” explained a notice tweeted out by the Anchorage Municipal Clerk’s account. “If left in a postal box & not picked up in time, it could go uncounted.”

In Anchorage’s April 6 regular election there were 342 ballots were not counted because of late postmarks, the second leading cause for ballots to be rejected after mismatched signatures.

The clerks are urging people to either drop off their ballots at one of the city’s many secure drop boxes, go into a post office to ask a postal official to hand stamp the envelope with a postmark or head over to one of three voting centers to cast a vote in person. A full list of the locations for each can be found here.

For voters with mismatched signatures, the city clerks will send out a letter giving voters the opportunity to cure their ballots by providing additional proof of identity. In the last election, 603 voters successfully cured their ballots for a variety of reasons but a total of 850 votes were ultimately rejected for mismatched signatures.

“It needs to be your official, legal signature. Regrettably, sometimes people are using their Carr’s grocery store signature and I have a Carr’s grocery store signature and the difference is problematic for us. … Think about what’s on your driver’s license because some of the reference signatures on file are from the DMV,” Anchorage Municipal Clerk Barbara Jones said at an assembly meeting about the results of the April 6 election.

So far, the city has reported receiving 71,127 ballots as of Monday afternoon. They’ve already processed 48,000 of those ballots and hope to have as many as possible included in tonight’s initial tally. Because of the by-mail system, ballots and the vote tally will continued to be updated on a daily basis and we may not know the final outcome of the race for until close to May 25, when the election is set to be certified.

The race has been particularly contentious between Dunbar and Bronson. Dunbar has pushed for “fact-based leadership” in Anchorage that seeks to continue efforts under the recent years of progressive leadership in the city with continued work to house the homeless and help the city carefully emerge from the pandemic. Bronson has pledged a far-right turn if elected, suggesting meeting the city’s homelessness problem with a police response, cutting everything but the police and has casted doubts on whether the covid-19 pandemic was ever worth being concerned about.

Drop box locations

All ballots must be returned before 8 p.m. You can also go to any post office, but just be sure that it’s postmarked with today’s date.

Anchorage Vote Centers

Lost or damaged your ballot? Never received one? Need assistance in voting? Then one of the city’s three voting centers is your best bet. All opened at 7 a.m. and will be open through 8 p.m.

City Hall
632 West 6th Avenue, Room #155

Eagle River Town Center
12001 Business Boulevard, Community Room #170
(same building as the library)

Loussac Library
3600 Denali Street, First Floor, Assembly Chambers

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