Main | Thursday, April 05, 2012

ANCHORAGE: Anti-Gay Group May Have Caused Legit Voters To Be Turned Away

Yesterday we learned that Anchorage's anti-gay coalition of Christian churches encouraged its supporters to vote illegally against the proposed ballot measure that would have granted housing and job protections to LGBT residents. But did that dirty trick also cause polls to run out of ballots and turn away legitimate voters?
Initial reports Tuesday linked the ballot shortages with an erroneous email from Proposition 5 opponent Jim Minnery (PDF) with the group Protect Your Rights, claiming people could register and vote at the same polling place on Election Day or vote in precincts other than their own. “We want to reassure voters who ended up voting questioned ballots because of the shortage that their vote counts,” officials wrote. “Voters who were properly registered at least 30 days before the election and qualified to vote will have their vote counted in accordance with the law. However, voters who registered to vote yesterday will likely not have their votes counted. We are currently aware of only 121 voters who registered yesterday.”

Gruenstein’s office also said that it would not be able to respond to requests for information "on an ongoing basis," and instead would send out press releases as information became available. Connie Sumida, an election precinct leader at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Mountain View, told Channel 2 she was informed by a supervisor that some polling places closed before the official 8 p.m. closure of polls. She said election workers at St. Anthony’s were forced to make copies of the front cover of their last ballot -- a two-sided document -- and make do. In an interview, Sumida said it was an “atrocity” for polling places to run out of ballots, and that Tuesday’s election should be “thrown out.”

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