City finishes counting ballots; outcomes remain the same

Rosemary Shinohara

The city completed a tally of votes in the April 3 city election Friday with absentee and questioned ballots added in, and the results showed a higher than normal turnout -- 36 percent, compared to 30 percent in the last mayor's race in 2009.

But the outcome in the major races and ballot propositions stayed the same after all ballots were counted.

The final number of voters was 71,099. On election night, 54,946 ballots were counted.

The hottest issue, Proposition 5, aimed at adding protections for gay, lesbian and transgender people to the city's equal rights law, gained slightly with the addition of absentee and questioned ballots, but still lost badly.

The measure failed with 57 percent against to 43 percent in favor in the final count. The election night count saw Prop 5 failing with 58 percent against to 42 percent for.

The complete tally took longer than normal after the election because there were an unusual number of questioned ballots and a shortage of ballots in 40 percent of the precincts election night. The shortages meant some people voted on sample ballots, and some who tried to vote gave up and went home.

Anchorage Assembly chairman Ernie Hall said he intends to hire a retired judge next week to conduct a special investigation into what went wrong.

The city Election Commission is holding two sessions to interview election workers and people who were unable to vote. The first session is at 10 a.m. Saturday in Wilda Marston Theatre at Loussac Library; the second begins at 4 p.m. Monday at City Hall.

Here's more on the Friday tallies:

• Mayor Dan Sullivan won re-election by 58.68 percent to 38.61 percent for his challenger, Assembly member Paul Honeman. On election night, it was 59.31 percent to 38.2 percent.

• The three School Board races remained virtually the same. Winners are incumbent Kathleen Plunkett, Tam Agosti-Gisler and Natasha von Imhof.

• The four bond propositions also passed by almost the same margins as on election night.

Reach Rosemary Shinohara at or 257-4340.

Anchorage Daily News