CBJ Clerk frustrated with Postal Service answers to ballots not postmarked in Fall election

    CBJ Clerk Beth McEwen along with CIty Manager Rorie Watt

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - News of the North and the CBJ Clerk's Office experienced great frustration in contacting the postal service to determine why hundreds of ballots from the local election last October were not postmarked.

    Clerk Beth McEwen tells us they were rather frustrated with that experience as well.  She says they visited the postal service multiple times every week for over a month to try and actually speak to a postmaster.

    When she was finally able to make contact, she was told that the business reply mail, first-class postage,  which was the model CBJ used, does not get a postmark.  Even those the guidelines on the agency's website state it will postmark every piece of election mail, McEwen says in reality that's not what is occurring.  The clerk was told that the postal service here did not have the type of equipment that would postmark business replay mail nor did the postmaster anticipate obtaining that equipment any time soon.  "I have to say I was rather frustrated with the answers."

    During an interview with News of the North, the clerk explained the action she will take.  "I'm going to recommend the Assembly does not use the business reply mail.  If we are going to be doing vote by mail, which is what it looks like we're doing, I'm going to suggest that we have the voters actually mail them using a first-class stamp and take their actual ballot return envelopes into a post office and have it hand canceled in front of the voter so that the voter knows, yes, that was in fact postmarked."

    Over 300 votes were rejected since they weren't postmarked.   No election results would have changed, but such a large number could have changed the results of past elections and could potentially change the outcomes in future balloting.

     

    More from News of the North

    Events

    • Weekly Adult Soccer Scrimmage

      Join us every Tuesday night at 6:00PM at the Kimsham soccer field for adult soccer scrimmages. We promise, the field is actually quite playable! For more info, contact sitkayouthsoccer@gmail.com and specify "adult soccer" in the subject line.

      at Kimsham Feild
    • The Mama Circle via Zoom Hosted by Jasmine @ Tongass Lactation Consulting, LLC

      The Mama Circle via Zoom. First Saturday of every month. Next on 3/5 10am-11am. Facilitated by Jasmine Esmay, Registered Nurse and Board Certified Lactation Consultant @ Tongass Lactation Consulting, LLC Topics include Women's and Children's Health, Mental Health, Nutrition, Lactation and more! Contact Jasmine at 907-623-7597 or jasmine.esmay@tongasslactation.com for the link! FREE

    • Medvejie Solstice Run

      Medvejie Run Set for June 18, 2022 The 16th running of the Medvejie Solstice Run is scheduled for 9 am on Saturday, June 18. This fundraiser for Sitka High track and XC teams includes three distance events – half-marathon, 10K and 5K – and begins and ends at Herring Cove. Pre-registration is highly recommended and is now available on-line: runsignup.com – “Medvejie Solstice Run” Race day registration begins at 7:50 am at Herring Cove, and ends at 8:40 am. Pre-registration fees: $30 – 5K, $35 – 10K, $45 – half-marathon. The first 75 registrants will receive one of our coveted athletic t-shirts. Race-day registration is $10 more. (SHS XC/track team members can run for free – t-shirts $10.) Please visit the Medvejie Solstice Run page on Facebook for more information, or email: runsitkahigh@gmail.com.

      at Herring Cove