A sign by the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center shows where to vote on Aug. 21, 2018, for the Diamond Ridge, Homer, Alaska, precinct. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

A sign by the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center shows where to vote on Aug. 21, 2018, for the Diamond Ridge, Homer, Alaska, precinct. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Memo details election day hiccups and resolutions

Technical difficulties, COVID-19 protocol compliance and missing ballots were among the issues.

Technical difficulties, COVID-19 protocol compliance and missing ballots were among the issues the Kenai Peninsula Borough experienced on Election Day last Tuesday, according to a memo from Borough Clerk Johni Blankenship.

The borough received calls and emails from voters who said not all election officials were wearing masks. The borough provided face masks for election workers and voters, face shields, social distancing decals, hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes, among other things, to all election sites as part of their COVID-19 protocols. Election workers were strongly encouraged, but not mandated, to wear masks because Blankenship said she does not have the authority to issue a mask mandate.

It was also confirmed that some voters were not mailed ballots and did not end up on a list sent to the contractor.

“I have consulted with the Division of Election to confirm the correct list of votes was sent to me and it was determined that the sorting/filter of voters failed due to formatting issues,” Blankenship says in the memo.

The borough specifically received two calls from voters in the Seldovia/Kachemak Bay precinct, though the borough said they had an absentee voting official in Seldovia from Sept. 21 through Election Day and that signs were posted directing people who had not received ballots to contact the borough. A new protocol has been implemented to prevent the error from happening again, according to the memo.

Other issues include technical difficulties in Ninilchik, where an Optical Scan unit was accepting ballots, but the number on the digital display was not changing. A new machine was delivered and running by 8:15 a.m. with all ballots cast prior to then counted after polls closed.

Eleven people tried to vote twice. Which vote was counted depends on how the voter voted the first time. If a voter cast a ballot in person, their vote would have been counted when it went through the tabulation machine. If a voter also voted via an absentee ballot, whichever was received first was counted.

All voters who attempted to vote twice will be contacted by the borough or further investigation and will be reported to the state attorney general.

Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at ashlyn.ohara@peninsulaclarion.com.

More in News

Central Emergency Services staff wait to receive doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine on Friday, Dec. 18, 2020 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Soldotna, borough to continue 911 dispatch partnership

The assembly approved an agreement Tuesday

Alaska State Troopers logo.
ATV accident leaves teen dead in Ninilchik

A 15-year-old girl was driving an ATV with a 14-year-old female passenger

Cook Inlet can be seen at low tide from North Kenai Beach on June 15, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)
Comment period on proposed Cook Inlet lease sale opens Friday

Cook Inlet is one of 11 locations described in the department’s Proposed Program for the National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program

Pottery pieces are displayed as a part of the Kenai Potters’ Guild July show at the Kenai Art Center on Tuesday, July 5, 2022. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Throwing together

Potters’ Guild artists show off their clay creations

Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire
This photo shows boats moored at Don D. Statter Harbor on a recent sunny day. According to statistics recently release by the U.S. Coast Guard, boating accidents were down in Alaska in 2021.
Boating fatalities trending down for 2021

Numbers met expectations, said safety instructors

Fishermen took to the mouth of the Kasilof River for opening day of dipnetting, on Tuesday, June 25, 2019, in Kasilof, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion file)
Kasilof dipnetting expanded, sockeye catch upped

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game issued multiple advisory announcements for sport anglers and dipnetters

Signs warn Fred Meyer customers to prepay if they thing they may go over limits while pumping gas on Friday, March 11, 2022 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Analysis: Inflation is up in Alaska

Alaska’s 2021 average inflation rate was the largest annual price increase since 1990

Mount Redoubt can be seen acoss Cook Inlet from North Kenai Beach on Thursday, July 2, 2022. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)
Offshore oil plan envisions a single Cook Inlet sale

The proposed 2023-2028 plan is similar to the just-ended Obama administration five-year plan

People line the streets in downtown Kenai, Alaska on Monday, July 4, 2022 for the annual Independence Day parade. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Red, white and blue all day

Kenai turns out for parade, activities to celebrate Independence Day

Most Read