Smith, ferry option maintain narrow leads

Count of absentee, questioned ballots fails to change close races

Posted: Sunday, October 08, 2000

Sally Smith has it.

When the polls closed last Tuesday, about 1,200 questioned and 100 mail-in absentee ballots remained to be counted and deemed valid. Those votes were reviewed by the city's Data Processing Review Board Friday night and City Clerk Laurie Sica posted the results on the city's Web site at 6:30 p.m.

The revised count of 11,796 ballots shows unofficial mayor-elect Smith maintaining her lead. She has 5,348 votes, 221 more than the 5,127 going to her main challenger, Jamie Parsons.

Smith had a 209-vote lead over Parsons when ballots were counted Tuesday.

"It went as I expected it would," Parsons said Saturday of the revised count.

"I am really pleased at how the vote came out -- that it stayed much the same," Smith said.

"It's amazing that we can have that many votes cast and still have such a close election," she said.

Although victory is in her hands, relaxing is "not in the schedule" for Smith. "I was blessed with so many supporters that I am looking at a daunting list of thank you's, and that's one of my first orders of business," she said.

Next on the agenda, she will brush up on Roberts Rules of Order and round up a couple of committees, in preparation for "ringing in the gavel on (October) 16th," she said.

A narrow preference among Juneau voters for improved ferry service instead of a road to Skagway remains in place after Friday's tally, with 5,840 voting ferry and 5,758 road.

"For us it's pretty clear that Juneau is divided over this issue, so whether the ferry had picked up 100 votes or the road had picked up 100 votes didn't matter," said Matthew Davidson, a grass roots organizer with both the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council (SEACC) and Smart Access Now for Everyone (SANE).

Friday's results are considered semi-final rather than final. The results will be reviewed at 1 p.m. Tuesday in the Assembly Chambers by the city's Canvas Board, and the election formally certified at that time.

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