Local News

More borough ballots arrive, DOJ gives OK to borough

There are plenty more ballots for the Alaska Division of Elections to go through on Friday, when it’s scheduled to do a second count for Petersburg’s mail-in Borough vote. According to Director Gail Fenumiai today (Wednesday), the Division had received another 336 ballots since the initial tally on December 18th.

That puts participation up to around 14 hundred people …..which is nearly 59 percent of registered voters in the election area. That’s far beyond November’s presidential election in which only 43 percent of area voters cast ballots.

Ballots had to be postmarked by the 18th.

The Division’s first count showed borough formation winning with a 108 vote lead. So at this point, roughly two-thirds of the additional ballots would have to be “no votes” in order for the results to change.

According to Fenumiai, the Division plans to do it’s next count at 11 in the morning on Friday and should be able to release the updated results within an hour of that time.

In related news, The United States Department of Justice has given its permission for a Petersburg borough to move forward. That approval is called “pre-clearance” and it’s required under federal law for Alaska and several other states to ensure new voting plans and boundaries do not discriminate against minorities. The Pre-Clearance came in a December 26th letter from the Department’s Civil Rights Division.
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