Ballots flown to pipeline crew

150 ballots sent to team doing quake repairs

Posted: Wednesday, November 06, 2002

FAIRBANKS - Crews working to get the earthquake-idled trans-Alaska oil pipeline running again got to cast their ballots Tuesday, thanks to some extra work by elections officials.

Tom Godkin, the state Division of Elections acting election supervisor for Region 3, was at work until 3 a.m. Tuesday packaging 150 absentee ballots.

Workers were called from their homes in 29 different House districts from the Interior to the Kenai Peninsula. "I did it for those voters," Godkin told the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.

The workers were called to inspect and repair the pipeline after a magnitude 7.9 earthquake damaged parts of its support system Sunday.

Alyeska spokesman Curtis Thomas said he realized those emergency workers might miss Tuesday's vote, so he and others gathered names and turned them over to Godkin on Monday night. The packets were ready to go Tuesday morning, Thomas said.

Alyeska employees Fred Wentz and Charles Titus sought out each worker to deliver the ballots. After checking a voter registration card or other proof of identification and birth date, Wentz and Titus handed out the personalized ballots.

The ballots were taken back to Fairbanks to be tabulated. The votes are considered absentee, meaning each voter will have to be verified before the ballot is counted, Godkin said.

"We've done something similar for firefighters, but nothing in association with a natural disaster," Godkin said.

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