Angoon asks state to help decide city election results

Official says division only has jurisdiction over statewide polls

Posted: Thursday, October 25, 2007

Three Angoon City Council candidates have asked the state Divisions of Elections to help determine the outcome of an Oct. 2 city election.

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But the division is unlikely to help because it has jurisdiction only over state elections, said Jonathan O'Quinn, election program manager.

"It's up to the municipalities," O'Quinn said. "They all have the right to write their own election laws."

The Angoon City Council has failed to arrange the four-member quorum required to certify the election and with three absentee ballots and one question ballot left uncounted, the outcome of one tied city council race remains unknown. Seeking resolution, the slate of former mayors wrote a letter requesting help to Director of Elections Whitney Brewster.

"Our community is without a government since mid-September, when Mayor (Walter) Jack and the clerk vacated their offices," said Maxine Thompson, former mayor and declared candidate for Council Seat A. "It's too long. We have a lot of issues to deal with."

Thompson said that the state should not ignore Angoon because as a city, it falls under the state.

"We need a neutral interest to get things right," she said.

Thompson said the election results are under scrutiny for electioneering after a sample ballot was seen at the polls listing three write-in candidates.

Dan Johnson Jr. ran for Angoon City Council Seat B and Pauline Jim ran for Seat C during the election. All three faced stiff competition from three write-in candidates.

If the election stands after certification, write-in candidate Lenora Walker will have won over Johnson with 51 percent of the vote. Write-in candidate Harriet Silva tied Jim for seat C, and Thompson beat Jimmy George Jr. for Seat A.

Council member Lillian Woodbury earlier said a quorum of four council members to certify the election was expected Tuesday. That day passed without action.

Thompson said acting Mayor Richard George and acting City Clerk Woodbury were not in town Tuesday to manage the certification process.

Woodbury did not return a call Wednesday seeking comment, but Tuesday said no follow-up date has been set for certification. The person who answered George's phone in Angoon said the acting mayor was out of town, but did not elaborate.

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