The first round of results from Anchorage’s mayoral run-off election counted nearly seven times as many ballots as the first round of results from the regular April 6 election, but contained just about as much certainty about the outcome.
With nearly as many votes counted as were cast in the entire April 6 election, progressive Anchorage Assemblyman Forrest Dunbar leads extreme-right conservative Dave Bronson by a razor-thin 114 votes. Dunbar has 36,075 votes (50.08%) to Bronson’s 35,961 votes (49.92%).
There are at least another 6,000 ballots in the city’s hands that have yet to be tallied, a number that we can expect to grow over the coming days. The city provides updated counts typically late in the afternoons.
Ballots can be received by the city up to 10 days after election day as long as they’re postmarked on or before election day. Voters who have had their ballots rejected for mismatched signatures have until then to cure their ballots and should be receiving notification via mail. In the regular election, 850 ballots were ultimately rejected because of mismatched signatures while about 600 voters took advantage of the curing process for a variety of reasons.
Outlook: The city counted far more ballots on election night than they had during the April 6 run-off election. What that means when it comes to expect from the several thousand remaining ballots isn’t entirely clear. Bronson did well with ballots counted after election day in the regular election, with some mix of election-day voting and mail-in ballots received after election day, but the dynamics of the run-off election where both campaigns were more organized and motivated to turn out voters may change.
If the race finishes within a 0.5% margin, it will head to an automatic recount.
In other security issues related to the Election Office, Bronson observers video recorded a woman trying to enter the building with a box at 10:58 pm on Tuesday night, and several election workers still working in the building after 11 pm, although the Bronson observers had been told that work was done for the night at about 9:30 pm. Having left their observation posts, they returned to the building after 11 pm to find Municipal Clerk Barbara Jones and Deputy Clerk Erika McConnell leaving the building. Two others left the building at the same time.
Election workers unloaded 50 boxes of blank ballots at the Anchorage Election Office on Friday, and stacked the boxes in one of the spacious rooms while counting is underway in the mayor’s runoff election.
There are now thousands of blank ballots in the same building where ballots are being counted. The room the ballots are in has a push-button code, but it’s unknown how many municipal workers have the code.
May 17 — 2:45 p.m.
Next update for runoff election results will be Tuesday
The Anchorage Municipal Clerk’s Office announced Monday that no updated preliminary results for the mayoral runoff election will be posted Monday.
Evidently, they’re having trouble with “Plan B” and the blank ballots……