A group of concerned Anchorage voters filed an official contest challenging legitimacy of the April 4 municipal election, and claiming that tens of thousands of voters were disenfranchised.
“We submit this contest due to the disenfranchisement of 36,143 voters (15% of registered voters) who were not mailed an ‘election announcement’ postcard or ballot package,” the official contest states. “Who made this decision, what criteria was used and was an MOA contractor involved, in any way, to facilitate this decision-making process?”
Daniel Smith is one of the 11 registered Anchorage voters who filed the challenge on May 4. City code stipulates that it takes one candidate or 10 registered voters to challenge an election. Additionally, an official contest must allege one or more of the following grounds for challenging the election.
“It is unclear why or how this happened. This is a violation of municipal code, Alaska statute and the United States Constitution.”
— Misconduct, fraud or corruption on the part of an election official sufficient to change the result of the election.
— The person certified as elected is not qualified as required by law.
— Any corrupt practice as defined by law sufficient to change the result of the election.
“As I understand the code, the next step is for the Anchorage Assembly to review and take action on the challenge, if they choose to do anything at all,” Smith said.
On April 25, the Assembly voted to certify the results, which entailed a 28% voter turnout that saw most hard left candidates defeat more conservative opponents by wide margins.
“It was explained to the challengers by the election commission that an election could not be challenged unless the election was first certified,” Smith explained. “So, we are challenging the certification of the election. We are curious to see what, if any, resolution the Anchorage Assembly offers. We are not sure what the normal resolution is when you have 36,000 plus voters who were disenfranchised.”
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In addition to the 36,000-plus voters who were not mailed election announcement postcards or ballot packages, the contest notes that 1,193 registered voters did not receive a ballot by mail for the 2023 MOA election despite having successfully voted in the State of Alaska November 8, 2022, General Election.
“In summary, 36,143 registered voters were disenfranchised from voting in the Municipality of Anchorage April 4, 2023, municipal election,” the contest states. “It is unclear why or how this happened. This is a violation of municipal code, Alaska statute and the United States Constitution.”
Smith said those who filed the contest do not have current plans to file a lawsuit against the city.
“But that is dependent on the Assembly review and what resolution the Assembly might offer,” he added.