Rowland Leads Over Write-Ins, While Barrera Wins School Board
Wednesday, October 02 2013
Election night stretched into election morning in Unalaska, as volunteers finished tallying ballots around 1 a.m.
Their results aren't official. But according to the tally, Fernando Barrera edged out Denise Rankin for school board seat E by 57 votes. Incumbent Roger Rowland has a slight lead over write-in candidates for city council seat C, including Katherine Labert. Rowland has 198 votes, while there were a total of 173 votes for write-in candidates.
According to city code, write-in ballots are usually counted as one category. They aren't sorted into votes for individual candidates unless the total number of write-in votes exceeds the number of votes for the candidate who's actually on the ballot.
This year was different, though. Volunteers read all of the write-in votes out loud as part of their hand count. Most of them were for Labert, who has been campaigning for seat C this fall against Rowland.
City clerk Elizabeth Masoni says there are still 18 absentee ballots that have to be counted and one special needs ballot. There are seven questioned ballots. The canvass committee will take a look at them Friday morning. If they find there's a tie between the total number of write-in ballots and Rowland's votes, volunteers will start sorting through to determine how many votes Labert actually got.
By comparison, the rest of the elections were clear-cut.
Unalaska mayor Shirley Marquardt ran unopposed and secured a fourth term in office. That was the first time in over 20 years that a mayoral election has been uncontested in Unalaska.
Dave Gregory and Alejandro "Bong" Tungul were also elected to city council without any opposition. Tammy Fowler Pound and Abner Hoage won their uncontested races for school board.
The hand count was conducted by a team of eight volunteers -- all city staff. Elizabeth Masoni and Genee Shaishnikoff took turns reading each of the 397 ballots aloud while Cat Hazen, Dan Masoni, Erin Reinders, Bryan Stafford, Kelly Stiles, and Marjie Veeder tallied the votes.
Unofficial 2013 election results (397 in-person ballots)
City council seat A: Shirley Marquardt (328 votes)
City council seat C: Roger Rowland (currently 198 votes)
City council seat D: Dave Gregory (340 votes)
City council seat F: Alejandro "Bong" Tungul (329 votes)
School board seat C: Abner Hoage (318 votes)
School board seat D: Tammy Fowler Pound (338 votes)
School board seat E: Fernando Barrera (218 votes)