Election snafu delays upper valley results


November 8, 2018

Voter turnout in town was approximately 36 percent.

While 2018 statewide unofficial general election results are in, some precincts' results around Southeast, including the upper valley, haven't been reported due to technical failures with voting equipment known as Ender cards.

"An Ender card is a paper that is specially printed with code that, when fed through the voting machine allows the machine to print out the results," state elections division communications manager Samantha Miller said. "It was reported that some of these Ender cards were no longer functioning properly because the tracking marks were not being read by the machines. We are coordinating the delivery of the memory cards to the director's office as soon as possible."

Upper valley precinct election official Carol Duis said they noticed the problem about 15 minutes after the polls closed. State election officials told Duis they could either hand tally the votes or mail the machines to Juneau Wednesday morning.

"We would have stayed past 9 p.m. tallying all the votes by hand," Duis said. "Since we left town at 5:45 a.m. to get up there I said, 'No, we can do that tomorrow.'"

Duis mailed the machines to Juneau at 10 a.m. Wednesday morning.

Precincts in Craig, Kake, Klawock, Sitka Thorne Bay, Hydaburg and Metlakatla all experienced the same issue. Because election results are currently unofficial, it's unknown if the Ender card issues in those precincts will change any race results. There are 276 registered voters in the upper valley.

According to unofficial results, candidate Mike Dunleavy won the governor's race, Don Young won the race for U.S. Representative, Jesse Kiehl won the state senate seat, Sara Hannan won the state representative seat and the Stand for Salmon initiative failed.

In town, voters narrowly favored democratic governor candidate Mark Begich, Independent candidate Chris Dimond for state representative and U.S. Rep. democratic candidate Alyse Galvin for U.S. Rep. Ballot measure 1 failed by a wide margin in town and was supported by a margin of one vote in Klukwan, according to division of elections data.

Thirty-five percent of town precinct voters cast ballots at the polls Tuesday, while 56 percent of Klukwan voters turned out to vote. Duis said about 49 percent of upper valley residents turned out to vote.

Ballot Measure 1, known as Stand for Salmon, failed handily among town voters. In town, 401 people voted against the proposition while 286 supported it. The borough assembly voted 4-2 in support of a Stand for Salmon resolution last month which drew the ire of some residents, many of whom said the assembly should refrain from supporting or opposing a statewide ballot initiative. A similar schism occurred in 2014 when a former borough assembly opposed the legalization of marijuana in resolution form, while the majority of Haines voters supported its legalization in the polls.

The ballot measure vote was narrower in Klukwan, with 20 in support and 19 in opposition.

Town voters favored Mark Begich for governor with 335 votes. Governor elect Mike Dunleavy was supported by 326 town voters.

In Klukwan, 27 voters supported Begich while 10 supported Dunleavy.

More town voters supported U.S. Rep. candidate Alyse Galvin than incumbent U.S. Rep. Don Young. Galvin received 389 votes in town while Young received 307. Twenty-nine Klukwan voters supported Galvin while 9 supported Young.

State senate democratic candidate Jesse Kiehl received 337 town votes while republican Don Etheridge received 298 votes. In Klukwan, 31 voters supported Kiehl while 7 supported Etheridge.

State Rep. democratic candidate Sara Hannan received 327 town votes while independent Chris Dimond led slightly with 340 votes. In Klukwan, 28 supported Hannan while 10 supported Dimond.


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