As of April 3, it appears that nearly 10% of all ballots that were sent out to Anchorage voters for the April 2 citywide election have been returned to election headquarters as “undeliverable ballots.” This number will likely increase over the next few days.

In 2018, Anchorage switched to mail-in elections, shutting down most in-person options and forcing most residents to rely on the mail system in order to cast a ballot. Under this system, every eligible voter is automatically mailed a ballot. This contrasts with many other areas of state where voters must individually request mail-in ballot.

Critics have noted that simply blanketing the city with unrequested ballots means many ballots won’t actually arrive at the home of eligible voters. Additionally, ballots could be lost in the mail, thrown in the trash and picked up by others, or filled out by individuals who are not authorized to cast the ballots.

On March 12, Anchorage mailed out 207,000 ballots. According to Acting Election Administrator William Northrop, approximately 19,750 ballots have now come back as “undeliverable.”

On April 2, Northrop wrote to a concerned citizen, who wanted to know how many undeliverable ballots have been returned.

Northrop said he had no legal obligation to provide the exact amount, and that to do so would require him to pull election workers away from the work of processing ballots.

“[W]e are currently in the midst of processing the April 2, 2024 Regular Election, and preparing for a Mayor Runoff taking place on May 14, 2024,” Northrop noted in his email. “I will not be pulling workers away from their duties in processing the current election and preparing for the Runoff Election under the time crunch we currently have, as doing such would disrupt the conduct of the election, which is prohibited in the observer manual (see page 7). We will be getting the cumulative total of RUNOFF undeliverables after the runoff.”

Northrop then provided an estimate of the undeliverables, which are currently stored in the election vault.

He said there were currently 79 trays currently in the vault, each containing about 250 ballots, which would amount to about 19,750 undeliverable ballots.

Initially, the undeliverable ballots were kept in a locked cage out in the open for public viewing. Northrop, however, decided it was best to store them in the vault.

“I did this, as mentioned yesterday, because we needed the room in the cage for storage of election equipment, which was the original intent of that cage,” he said. “While the undeliverables have been moved to the vault, they are visible to the public and have a camera on them 24/7. And as pointed out yesterday, they are clearly separated from the processed ballot envelopes and processed ballots.”

As of April 4, election officials had processed about 61,000 ballots. They will continue counting for the next week as ballots arrive via mail. All ballots must be received by April 16.

As things stand, it appears that far-left Assemblywoman Suzanne LaFrance is poised to outpace her conservative counterpart, incumbent Mayor Dave Bronson. LaFrance enjoys a slight lead over Bronson in the mayor’s race, but since neither candidate is likely to garner 45% of the vote – the minimum to claim victory – the contest is probably headed to a run-off mayoral election on May 14.

In other contests, three hard-left, incumbent school board candidates are still comfortably ahead, and it looks like voters will approve about $124 million in new bond debt for schools and various city projects.

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Anchorage election official says nearly 20,000 undeliverable ballots have returned, so far

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.


  • Elizabeth Henry says:

    And how many ended up being nefariously used? How would it be known if a returned ballot is even sent in by the person whom it was actually addressed to, or by someone else? What a mess. No chain of custody with the mail in ballot system.

    • Cecilia Preziose says:

      right you are. this happened during the assembly election. they did nothing than, do nothing now

    • Cecilia Preziose says:

      shouldnt the BoE first priority be a clean voter list? if not why do we pay them? they all need to go

  • Michael Tavoliero says:

    Just wondering what the total cost of these undeliverable ballots are to the Anchorage taxpayer contrasted to the old way of elections…show up and vote? If the mail in ballot costs about $6.00 to $7.00 a ballot, that’s $118,500 to $138,250 wasted. The cost of the old way was closer to $3.00 a ballot and very little waste. Wasn’t the idea of the mail in ballot to help the average voter to vote whereas the old way was racist?

  • DaveMaxwell says:

    Has fentanyl been used by these election officials? Why else is this whole thing a convoluted mess?

  • Proud Alaskan says:

    Mail in voting, it’s cheating in so many ways.

  • Friend of Humanity says:

    This is clown world. I wonder if they are going to certify the election anyway? We need a white hat lawyer that can bring as many lawsuits as black hat Kendall does!

    • DaveMaxwell says:

      Unfortunately the white hat we have is our Attorney General who has lost his manhood! Dunceleavy is too afraid of being in the spotlight! If your a deer in the sights of dunleavy’s rifle you may have reason to fear. If your a leftist life and liberty hater, you will flourish as you receive the red carpet into our institutions and monetary systems! Dunceleavy will do nothing, he’s busy smoking carbon gas!

  • Jeanette Exner says:

    GREAT. Now they’ll be saying THIS election was stolen also.

  • V says:

    So do the undeliverable ones include the ballots our entire family and neighbors didn’t receive. We did ballot tracking and they never even made it to the Chugiak post office to then be delivered to our homes. I don’t think they were ever even mailed.

  • John J Otness says:

    Tolerance will reach such a level that intelligent people will be banned from thinking so
    as not to offend the imbeciles….. Dostoievski… Our voting system.

  • John J. Otness says:

    Mary Peltola saved our fisheries,,, have they no shame ,,,These political commercials have they no shame?

  • Cecilia Preziose says:

    this happened during the election of assembly members. the BoE did nothing than and will do nothing now. OUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK!

  • Cecilia Preziose says:

    shouldnt the BoE first priority be a clean voter list? if not why do we pay them? they all need to go

    • Cecilia Preziose says:

      this happened during the assembly vote. guess clean voter list is not important to the BoE

  • Judy Eledge says:

    Dave Maxwell, instead of slinging arrows perhaps you need to o ow what you are talking about. Anchorage is a first city and the state is unable to become involved in their elections. The Governor and AG have no influence I’ve muni elections. Please research before you make blanket statements!

  • Geri says:

    My mother in law left this state 4 years ago, and still receives a ballot at every election! We have returned to sender, each ballot, and written on it that she is no longer a resident of this state. What is the matter with the election officials in the state of Alaska?!!!! We have been informed that the only way to stop ballots from being sent is for the person to whom the ballot is addressed, to PHYSICALLY write a letter and request it. Who does that? In other states in which I have lived, you are taken off the mail in ballot list as soon as you fail to participate in a general election. Then if you want to participate in a future election, you must re-register. Mr. Northrup, you had 3 years to clear this up, I CAN’T BELIEVE WE ARE STILL GETTING BALLOTS FOR MY MOTHER -IN-LAW! No wonder the jokes of dead people voting!!!! How do they get taken off the voter list, since they can’t write you? This whole excuse with having to be concerned about the May runoff doesn’t wash, you had 3 years! How can any election be accepted as valid when the integrity of the election process is so compromised???

  • M M says:

    Probably more than half returned are republican voters. The maxist dem screwed up the address enough to get sent back.

  • DaveMaxwell says:

    Be patient!

  • DaveMaxwell says:

    Sorry for making you wait so long Judy, still waiting for Joel to upload my response to you.