Tonight, May 23, the Anchorage Assembly will consider whether to allow a formal hearing to occur in the future regarding the integrity of the April 4 citywide election.
A group of concerned Anchorage voters filed an official contest challenging the legitimacy of the election, and claiming that 15% of voters (36,143 people) were disenfranchised when the city failed to mail them an election announcement postcard or ballot package.
Challengers want to know who made this decision, what criteria was used and whether outside contractors played any role.
Formal allegations assert that the election was compromised by misconduct, fraud or corruption, which is sufficient to change the result of the election.
While the election was already certified by the Assembly on April 25, a challenge was successfully submitted on May 4, and must at least be considered by the Assembly.
The challenge also 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’s Nov. 8, 2022, general election.
PROCEDURE FOR MAY 23 MEETING
The procedure which the Assembly will likely use when considering the merits of the election challenge is laid out in a document published on the Assembly meeting website. There will be no public comments during this portion. According to the procedures, this is how the election challenge should be considered.
— Questions should be raised and discussed by Assembly members on the record at the May 23 meeting, not beforehand. Assembly members are instructed to avoid any substantive communications with the Clerk’s Office and Elections Team, as well as with the attorneys prior to the meeting.
— The Election Contest is a quasi-judicial matter, but not a public hearing matter (there will be no public comment portion).
— A response from the clerk and MOA Elections to the Notice of Election Contest will appear on the agenda.
— An Assembly Resolution will be on the agenda about the election contest and response, and will ask the Assembly to decide to either hear the election contest or to deny a hearing.
— Assembly members are “the judges” regarding the election contest and whether there should be any possible hearings on the matter.
— When the resolution is before the Assembly, members may debate the matter and ask questions of the Elections Team or the filers or the lawyers before voting on how to proceed.
— If members vote to hear the election contest, the hearing on the election contest will be scheduled at a future date. If members vote to deny the election contest, the matter is complete, and no further action is required by the Assembly.
The filers of the election challenge have no current plans to file a lawsuit, but that is dependent on what remedies the Assembly might offer.
The meeting begins at 5 p.m. The election challenge is listed as item 12. Click here for meeting details.
— Click here to contact Anchorage Assembly members.