ANCHORAGE – On June 14, the Alaska Senate Democrats sent a letter to the Division of Elections and the Lieutenant Governor demanding answers for the staggering rejection rates of mail-in ballots in the special primary election for the United States Congress. According to Division of Elections data, one area of Alaska had more than 17% of all ballots received so far rejected.
The Division of Elections currently reports a 9.0% rejection rate in the Mountain View neighborhood of Anchorage, and alarmingly, 15.2% and 17.4% rejection rates respectively in the rural areas of Bering Straits/Yukon Delta and Bethel/Lower Kuskokwim. Mail-in ballots may still be received after the final postmark date of June 11.
“This incredible rate of ballots being thrown out in Alaska’s first mail-in election is absolutely unacceptable,” said Senator Bill Wielechowski (D-Anchorage).
“These numbers, if verified, mean Alaska Natives and other minorities and residents from less affluent areas have been denied their right to vote. Vote by mail works, but only if implemented so that all citizens have a chance for their vote to be counted,” said Senate Minority Leader Tom Begich (D-Anchorage).
In the 2020 primary, 1,240 ballots were rejected out of 62,455 mail-in votes cast. That was a rejection rate of 2%.
“Every Alaskan, who is registered to vote, deserves to participate in our elections and their votes must be counted. While the Division of Elections has done a good job running our elections in the past, Alaskans need to know why so many ballots were discarded in our first, statewide by-mail election in this June election. We need answers now so Alaskans can maintain their confidence in future elections,” said Senator Scott Kawasaki (D-Fairbanks).