Lockout led to pamphlet delay

Posted: Monday, October 28, 2002

For more Juneau Empire coverage of the November 5 general election, please visit the Juneau Empire Elections Guide.

JUNEAU - Voter pamphlets for the Nov. 5 election arrived late in Juneau residents' mailboxes last week due in part to a 10-day West Coast dockworkers lockout, according to the state Division of Elections.

State law requires the lieutenant governor, who oversees elections operations, to mail one copy of the pamphlet to every registered voter in the region within 22 days of the general election.

Janet Kowalski, director for the Division of Elections, said Oct. 14 was the original mailing date.

Dockworkers were back on the job just three days before the mailings were to be sent out to voters.

Kowalski said the pamphlets were located amongst backlogged shipments en route to Alaska and expedited to the Anchorage Post Office. The shipment arrived in Anchorage on Oct. 16 and pamphlets were then distributed to the rest of the state.

Ron Haberman of the Anchorage Post Office said political mail takes priority over any other standard mail and that the pamphlets were sent by barge to Southeast within a few days of their arrival in Anchorage.

Juneau postmaster Kent Eriksen said the barge arrived in Juneau on Oct. 19 and the pamphlets arrived at the post office last Wednesday.

Kowalski said the delay was not related to a mix-up at the Division of Elections in mid-October when voters in 15 of the state's 40 legislative district were mailed incorrect pamphlets.

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