Anchorage School Board Candidate Mark Anthony Cox sent this photo to the Alaska Watchman on March 21 showing a municipal mail-in ballot laying in the trash can at the city’s southside U.S. Post Office.

Anchorage School Board Candidate Mark Anthony Cox sent a photo to the Alaska Watchman on March 21 showing a municipal mail-in ballot lying in the trash can at the city’s southside U.S. Post Office (see photo to the right).

Another resident, Dewey Wells, sent the Watchman photos of his ballot. Received on March 20, it is the wrong ballot for the city district he lives in. According to voter registration records, Wells resides in District 2 and should be voting for candidates in that district, but his ballot is for District 3 candidates.

Anchorage resident Jolene Reece notified the Watchman on March 21 that she knows of at least two ballots delivered near her residence to an unlocked mailbox in a small condo complex in Midtown Anchorage.

“The box has a marked ‘vacant’ on the inside for the postal worker, yet these were still left in an unsecure box,” Reece noted. “The individuals no longer live there and moved out three months ago. These ballots are ripe for theft as the box is unsecured.”

In 2018, Anchorage moved to a mail-in only election system, which means all qualified registered voters have ballots automatically sent to their address, even if they have moved or died. This year, the city mailed out 210,000 ballots, most of which are arriving this week.

Mail-in ballots are the type most vulnerable to being altered, stolen, forged or thrown into non-secure areas like public garbage cans and dumpsters.

According to the city’s election website, residents should mark “Return to sender” on all ballots which are sent to someone who no longer lives at that address. This is the first step in updating the city’s voter rolls. While these ballots may be discarded or torn up, that does not help the city update its voter list, and the former residents will continue to have ballots mailed to the incorrect address.

Likewise, the city website indicates that voters who lose or never receive their ballot packages in the mail should call the Voter Hotline (907-243-8683) to request a replacement ballot package as soon as possible. Replacement ballot packages may not be mailed out less than seven days before election day. Voters can also visit an Anchorage Vote Center to vote in person, but they must have proper identification. All ballots must have a return postmark date of April 5.


If you see ballots discarded, left in unsecured locations, mishandled or transported improperly, please let us know by sending an email to We are attempting to document these cases with the goal of helping city officials – both elected and appointed – realize the many problems associated with mail-in voting, and to ensure that Anchorage’s elections are conducted with integrity and security moving forward.

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Anchorage mail-in ballots found in garbage, vacant mailbox, wrong district

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 24 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.


  • Neil DeWitt says:

    By the way, Anchorage has the most secured ballot system on the state! Or at least that’s what we’ve been told time and again. I’m not sure about you but I sure wouldn’t like to see the rest of the communities! So should we guess now who eill be installed or wait for the fraud report?

  • Fallen Republic says:

    Alaska a failed State! Voting by mail nothing can go wrong, people pretending they have a vote. I’m not voting this way.

  • BackcountryBoy says:

    Is there any way to vote in person still? City Hall? Library?

  • Theresa says:

    What is the proper way to discard a mail-in ballot if one intends to vote in person, rather than mail in his ballot?

  • CD says:

    This is why we need to go back to same day voting, paper ballots, and transparency.

  • CD says:

    This is why we need to go back to same day voting, paper ballots, and transparency.

  • Proud Alaskan says:

    Mail in Voting is so wrong to much cheating.
    It needs to be, going to your polling area on Election Day
    One vote with ID with a paper ballot end of story.

    • Sharon Alice Turner says:

      Look at the people who instituted this ‘easy to cheat’ failed process. You will have your answer. And it is more costly to we the tax paying citizens. So for you and me.. it is a lose lose, and keep on losing when the cheats are in office. Example: how far has Anchorage fallen in a short time?

  • Voter says:

    We need to go back to Voting in Person!

  • J. Henry says:

    A paper ballot and in -person voting has served this nation well for over two hundred years.
    Why do politicians and special interest groups want to reinvent the whell?

    • Sharon Alice Turner says:

      There is only one common sense reason: Cheating. Period. They will do whatever it takes for power and control.

  • Penny Seliger says:

    My daughter who moved to TX in 2019. She received a ballot yesterday. I have not received mine yet. VERY INTERESTING! This is ridiculous! Do I think that there is cheating happening? Definitely!

  • michael hughes says:

    I just received 3 ballots. Returning 2…have to be honest or we won’t win anything.

  • Sidney Bertz says:

    So, if you pick these ballots out of the garbage, could you actually submit a vote on them. What proof is needed to make sure they are valid. I am just asking the question. Do not know the answer.

  • Tyler Henslee says:

    Patriots new radio station! Check me out

  • Shawn ODONNELL says:

    This article is for simpletons and it’s clear it worked. “
    So and so said “ ? That’s not journalism it’s lies. I saw Tuckerman Babcock with an entire box of ballots “ please
    print that. None of the issues raised are, verified, believable or in any way an issue. You can track your ballot real time now! If you get the wrong ballot then it’s flagged when it’s counted, but it’s also because you were a bad American and didn’t change your registration! Stupid seriously