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New election districts cause of confusion in Fairbanks area

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Posted: Sunday, November 4, 2012 11:08 pm | Updated: 11:54 am, Mon Jan 21, 2013.

FAIRBANKS — With a new election district map there has been some confusion and errors with district assignments but with a day until the election, officials are confident the kinks have been worked out.

The new election map is the product of redistricting mandated every 10 years after the census is taken. The Fairbanks-area went through plenty of legal challenges and multiple revisions before the map was settled on for this election.

Division of Elections Region III Supervisor Mickey Speegle said unclear or confusing maps produced by the lengthy legal battle has produced some confusion for voters as well for the division.

“Redistricting, how many different plans we have, we try to make sure we have everything correct and we double and triple check every thing, but there’s a margin for error,” she said.

Some voters, particularly along district or precinct lines, received voter cards that placed them in the incorrect voting area this summer, but Speegle said that’s been fixed.

Many of the problems were taken care of in the primary election, when it was found that a jagged, and at times confusing, separation between House District 2 and House District 5 meant some voters ended up in the wrong district or precinct.

On Saturday, it was discovered some voters on the border between two voting precincts in the Badger Road area, which had been split by a road, had been paired with the wrong precinct and were assigned to the wrong polling place.

Speegle said that’s since been fixed and both voter rolls have been updated.

“At this point I’m pretty confident that everybody is in the right place,” she said.

If voters are still unsure or confused about where to vote or what district they belong to, she said they can check the maps and double-check their registration online at elections.alaska.gov.

Despite the missteps, Speegle said early voting has been going well.

“It has been very busy and very steady since we opened our doors almost two weeks ago,” she said.

Early and in-person absentee voting will continue today from

8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Election day voting will be held from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday. Election results will begin to be posted about 9 p.m. that night.

Contact staff writer Matt Buxton at 459-7544 or follow him on Twitter: @FDNMpolitics.

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