Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Pro-gay ordinance defeated in a strange web of controversy

It's never my pleasure to report bad news:

Anchorage voters rejected a proposed ordinance to add legal protections for gay, lesbian and transgender people in a chaotic municipal election fraught with ballot shortages and high voter turnout in many precincts.

With more than 90 percent of the precincts reporting late Tuesday, 58 percent of voters had voted against Proposition 5, the equal rights ordinance that was far and away the most controversial and emotional component of this spring's election.

As of late Tuesday, neither side was claiming victory nor conceding defeat.

. . . An unexpectedly high turnout, with some polling places running out of ballots, resulted in a large number of votes that might be on "questioned" ballots, which have to be counted by hand. The final results may be days or longer away, said municipal clerk Barbara Gruenstein.

Reports began circulating late in the day Tuesday that some precincts were running out of ballots because of heavy turnout. By 7 p.m. -- an hour before polls were to close -- lines were long at many polling places and extra ballots were being rushed to precincts that had run out

There is more chaos to this story than meets the eye.

Alaska's LGBT blog, Bent Alaska was tweeting that there are several precincts in which every ballot is being challenged.

Jason Lamb of Channel  2 News is also tweeting about some strange incidents, including voters being turned away and also a possibility that folks who did not live in Anchorage voted on Prop 5.

The vote on Prop 5 was a definitely emotional, which the opposition exploited in the following ads:

Even NOM jumped in by sending a tweet to voters in Alaska to vote against Prop 5. It was a bizarre tweet, seeing that Prop 5 was a city-wide vote, not a state vote.

It also signaled the fact that NOM seems to be butting into other aspects of opposing gay equality rather than simply opposing marriage equality.

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