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Municipal elections held, seeing increase in mail-in ballots

Published: Oct. 6, 2020 at 4:23 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Municipal elections for the Fairbanks North Star Borough took place on Tuesday, October 6th, with polling locations open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

April Trickey, Fairbanks North Star Borough Clerk, explained that this year the borough has seen more requests for by-mail and electronic ballots than normal. “I would say they’re approximately seven times higher than what we normally get, for both our by-mail and electronic,” she said.

According to Trickey, questioned ballots, known as provisional ballots in some states, are used when a voter goes to a polling location and their name does not appear on the rolls for that location’s precinct.

Questioned ballots require an envelope to be filled out with up-to-date voter information, which is then turned in with the ballot. Filling out a questioned ballot automatically updates the voter’s registration information.

A voter may require a questioned ballot for a number of reasons, including recent change of address, or an error with the system which does not list someone as a registered voter within their precinct. Trickey emphasized that these errors are rare, happening “less than a handful of times in an election.”

Questioned ballots for the October 6th municipal election will be canvassed by the canvassing board along with all other ballots. In that process, officials verify that the ballot comes from a qualified registered voter, and that they have not filled out more than one ballot. Those ballots will then be counted on October 13th, one week after the election, on the same day as absentee ballots.

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