Anchorage Officials Say More Than 8,000 Ballots Suspect or Unscanned After Failed Gay Rights Vote

As we've been reporting all week, the recent election in Anchorage, Alaska in which Proposition 5, a long-fought-for LGBT anti-discrimination ordinance, failed to pass, was muddied by potential voter fraud and polling places running out of ballots.

AnchorageAn update from the Alaska Dispatch:

The Municipal Clerk's office has released a final tally for questioned ballots across all Anchorage precincts. With all precincts reporting, 6,095 questioned ballots have been discovered. By comparison, during the last municipal election there were only 1,060 questioned ballots. About 55,000 ballots were counted after Tuesday's election.

There also was an updated count offered by the municipality regarding those "unscanned ballots" — ones that weren't electronically tabulated by Accuvote machines. The preliminary total: 1,433 unscanned ballots. Those included voters who showed up, signed in, but weren't electronically counted on election day. Those who used sample ballots or other non-official ballots (mayor challenger Paul Honeman alleged some voters had to poll on napkins).

No word on the napkin count. Or hanging napkins.

ACLU executive director Jeffrey Mittman is now calling for "an independent, special counsel to investigate the conduct of the April 3, 2012 Municipal Election" in the wake of the chaotic and bungled election there which resulted in the failure to pass Proposition 5, an LGBT anti-discrimination ordinance, the Anchorage Daily News reports:

Mittman was a leader in the One Anchorage campaign, the group that formed to promote the gay rights measure, and the ACLU contributed $10,000 to its effort.

Mittman said the ACLU is trying to ensure that each individual's right to vote is protected, even those who wanted to vote against Proposition 5, the gay rights ballot measure. He acknowledged the ACLU is "wearing two hats" by reviewing the election and advocating for Proposition 5. But he said it could serve both roles.

Both the city clerk's office and the ACLU are urging people who had trouble voting to come forward with complaints.

LGBT advocates have been working to pass the ordinance, which would add sexual orientation and gender identity to the city's anti-discrimination policies, for more than 35 years.


  1. TonyT says

    This is a waste of time that will most likely not change the outcome. The problem is the odd language included in the measure, namely “transgender identity”. This could mean just about anything, and obviously the people of Anchorage were confused as well. Once again, the equal rights of gay people have been sacrificed for those wishing to be thought of as “normal heterosexuals”, as dear Chaz Bono so wonderfully asserted.

  2. Rick says

    @TonyT Exactly. Far Left extremists and social anarchists promoting “gender-non-conformity” have taken over the gay movement and have all but destroyed its viability, which is why we keep losing (this loss just continues the long string of losses in referendums, without a single victory anywhere). And we have not been able to pass ENDA in Congress for the very same reason.

    Until these extremists are moved aside and a whole new approach is taken, then things will only get worse rather than better.

    It really is sickening to observe what a once-promising movement has degenerated into.

  3. DeutschStudent says

    The transphobes are out early today, I see. Chag kasher v’sameach, a**holes. Transgender identity means a gender identity differing from that assigned to one’s genitals. That does indeed cover a wide range of identities, but that’s how gender works. It’s clinal. And it doesn’t matter that it is! Everyone deserves equal protection under the law, regardless of their orientation (also clinal) or gender identity.

  4. Nigel says

    According to the numbers in the article a problem exists with 13.7% of the ballots. The issue is not inclusiveness of humans that are trans. The issue is the problem with the voting process. Fair open and transparent elections do NOT have problems with 13.7% of the ballots. Way to go anti-LGBT bigots your victory must make you proud and the method of your success must make your children proud of your character.

  5. Rick says

    “Everyone deserves equal protection under the law, regardless of their orientation (also clinal) or gender identity.”

    Fine. I don’t necessarily agree when it comes to transsexuals, but whether I do or not, these people ARE NOT GAY…..and they therefore do not deserve to be lumped in with us any more than any other minority group does, whether that be a racial minority, a religious minority, or what have you.

    If they think society is willing to accept the notion that they should have certain legal rights, then they can conduct their own movement separate from ours….instead of trying to piggy-back on ours and bringing us down in the process (not to mention confusing people’s understanding of what is gay and what isn’t–one of the things early gay activists tried so hard to do was educate people so that they understood that homosexuality was NOT a result of gender confusion)

    The “T” needs to go….in fact, that is long overdue…..and until it happens, we will never progress as a movement.

  6. james says

    The anti-discrimination item was not the only thing on the ballot. There were other propositions, a mayor’s race, and school board races. The issue is confidence in the election process. This blog is interested because of the anti-discrimination item. All persons concerned about democracy should be concerned when elections are managed badly. I don’t know if any results will change, but every voter who wants a ballot should get one and every vote cast should be counted.

  7. David Hearn says

    It’s not “transphobic” to take a candid look at the effect of inclusion of “gender identity” on the passage of nondiscrimination laws. These terms do not have concrete meanings and if you try to nail it down, there is an army of screaming Kiwis who try to end the discussion by disruption.

    You can call them any name you like, but the average person wants and needs to know that you aren’t opening the door for all manner of strange or unacceptable, and colloquial terms like “transgender” or “gender nonconforming” read to most people (correctly) as if they will lose any ability to have standards for deportment in the workplace and in the schools.

    We have been through this before. Yes, some of these people are simply ignorant religious nuts, but not everyone who wonders if the legal protection means that their child’s teacher can come to work presenting in whatever whim he.she might have today. Most people do not care if a post-op transexual whose “gender” was clearly mixed up decides to present as a sex not conforming to their DNA. But they don’t want psychologically unstable and physically confusing people working with their kids. No, this is not “just the same” as it was with gay teachers. Yes, a lot of lesbians in particular are not gender conforming by a femininity standard or one of dress, but they are not presenting as male.

    Transexuals insist that they are not the sex that they are. Some people don’t see that as rational.

    Now you can go all Kiwi and call me names, but what I have said here is true. You can call these people names, but it won’t change how they feel. The only thing that will change how they feel is the same thing that works for just about everyone: they need to know what to expect. They have no reason to trust you that everything will be OK.

    How you do that? Beyond my skill set.

  8. says

    The Good News – the wimps who complain about “gender non-conformity” and get their panties in a bunch about trans-inclusiveness are such pathetic cowards, and are so terrified of people knowing that they’re gay, that they actually are going to lose.

    That’s right – they’re going to lose. They scream, from their anonymous closets, that they don’t want to be “lumped in with” or “associated with” transgendered people, or gender non-conforists.

    Don’t worry – alone in your closet you’re not associated with anyone or anything.

    The people who are visible and making a difference are the people who are standing shoulder-to-shoulder with their brothers and sisters, regardless of their gender identity or expression.

    We can all take solace knowing that those who “take issue” with gender-nonconformity don’t have the balls to do anything about their “issue” other than vent furiously from an anonymous internet handle. These are the people who don’t have the courage of their convictions – their opinions drive them to make internet comments, not actual in-person life-changing interactions and decisions. It’s kinda funny, in a sad way.

    So, while they’re not helping the cause, they’re not harming it, either. they’re just screaming from the back of a darkened room, desperate for some other insecure souls to join them in their solitary misery. sorry, the rest of us are outside playing together in the sun like big kids 😀


    anyway, a good friend from anchorage has said that the internal politics up there are buggered beyond belief and wholly corrupt. expect more information to get leaked and discovered.

    also, remember to show your support of the trans community. they are our brothers and sisters. we’re all in it together.

  9. uffda says

    “…an army of screaming Kiwis who try to end the discussion by disruption…” is exactly right DAVID HEARN. Thank you for the clarity of that accurate phrase. I now skip everything above his yellow name and enjoy this web site that much more.

  10. Jack Rickman says

    Andy Towle, you made the following statement, and it is an outright falsehood:

    “LGBT advocates have been working to pass the ordinance, which would add sexual orientation and gender identity to the city’s anti-discrimination policies, for more than 35 years.”

    “LGBT” activists haven’t been doing anything for 35 years, because the fiction of “LGBT” hasn’t existed for 35 years. What has been happening for 35 years is that gay and lesbian activists worked to pass an ordinance that would ban sexual orientation discrimination in Anchorage. It is only because of the ideology of LGBT – which tells us that we must link gays with transgenders regardless of any cost or consequence – that this last proposal, unlike all the previous versions, included coverage for “transgender identity.” (Note that it does not cover “gender identity” but rather “transgender identity.” I guess there was no desire to protect “cis” people from gender identity discrimination. Oh well.)

    “Transgender identity” was so vaguely defined that it would have included all manner of dress and gender expression, including fetishistic crossdressing and “butch drag,” conduct mostly indulged in by heterosexuals and which have nothing especially to do with gays and lesbians.

    The opponents honed right in on this provision and ran nearly all of their campaign on it. We lost overwhelmingly when we might have won. This is the cost of the ideology of LGBT. Don’t cover it up by pretending that LGBT always existed.

  11. says

    real men stand in solidarity with our trans brothers and sisters. we support them, we champion their rights along with ours, and we work to create a social culture that treats them with fairness, understanding, compassion and grace.

    you show me a gay man who distances himself from his trans brothers and sisters and i’ll show you a coward who never grew a spine.

    we’re all in it together. as Harvey Milk said, “all of the us’s”

  12. Rick says

    @UFFDA There is no way someone like that could have a life–it seems that his entire existence consists of harrassing people on this website.

    And that is part of the problem–the “professional gays” who have ruined the movement are generally people who live outside the social mainstream, don’t have jobs–or have only menial ones–and the responsibilities that go with them (and can therefore spend all day harrassing people on sites like this), and have nothing to lose by their actions (often because they are such flaming queens that they are going to be socially marginalized whether they are “out” or not)……and they are also motivated by their deep resentment and jealousy of gay people who are successful and have found a place in the mainstream–which explains their affinity for the Far Left, politically.

    The only real solution I see is to purge these people completely in some way….and you really only can accomplish that by drawing a hard and fast line between the “gender-non-conformists” (whether transsexuals, transvestites, or woman-identifying effeminate gay men) and the rest of us…..which is part of what I am trying to do. I understand why you and some others are not where I am quite yet, but I don’t really see a solution to the problem other than that.

    Highly effeminate gay men do almost as much damage to our cause as transsexuals do….and in my opinion, they have more in common with each other than either does with gay men, in general.

  13. Ryan says

    My friend’s step-mother makes $87 an hour on the internet.
    She has been without work for six months but last month her payment was $16683 just working
    on the internet for a few hours. Read more on this site….

  14. Jack Rickman says

    @Little Kiwi:

    Stop calling people names. It isn’t persuasive.

    Harvey Milk never once in his life referred to gays and lesbian people as “LGBT people” nor did he ever use the term “LGBT”. The anti-discrimination ordinance that he got passed in San Francisco dealt with sexual orientation, not “gender identity” or “transgender identity.” To my knowledge, he never once addressed trans rights, let alone insisted that anyone who didn’t link gays with transvestites is less than a man. Although he probably would have been supportive of trans rights, as am I, it wouldn’t have occurred to him that he should be promoting the idea that gay and transgender share an identity. That is the very stereotyping that he fought against.

    I guess according to you, because he fought for gay rights and did not immerse himself in “gender identity” issues, Harvey Milk must be a “coward” and is not a “real man.”

  15. Jack Rickman says


    You are way over the top. This has nothing to do with “effeminate” gay men. Effeminate gay men are gay men and are part of the gay community by virtue of being gay. “Trans” people on the other hand are not defined by sexual orientation. They can be straight, gay or bi, just as plumbers or Idahoans can be gay, straight or bi. It makes as much sense to lump LGBs, as a group, together with Ts as a group as it does to lump LGBs together with plumbers or Idahoans.

    Not only have we allowed ourselves to be lumped together with predominately straight transgenders, but we have been manipulated to believe that their issues have to be the very top priority for us, such that it is better to go to certain defeat on a bill that includes “transgender identity” rather than victory on a bill that protects LGBs alone. This is what needs to be reversed. Focus on the real issue, the epic scam of “LGBT,” not on the personal characteristics of gay men.

  16. Rick says

    @Jack Rickman I understand your point. I really do. I just have a different perspective.

    There is a reason that most of the gays who argue for including the “T” in LGBT are effeminate. I think it is because they, too, model their behavior on women, as trans individuals do–whether transvestites or transsexuals–even though they do not take it to the extreme of wanting to alter their genitals–and they therefore feel an affinity with them. Otherwise, where would the idea of lumping them in with us have come from in the first place?

    And I personally believe that the main driving force behind homophobia is related to questions of masculinity rather than to the more technical question of gender-identity vs. “gender emulation” (if you will).

    You are concerned about how being lumped together with trans people negatively effects our public image and I guess where we differ is that I don’t see the public being any more favorably-inclined towards very effeminate gay men–who try to act like women and live vicariously through women (the “diva” phenomenon)–than they are towards transvestites (who like to dress like women) or transsexuals (who want to actually become women).

    To most people, all of these individuals appear to be gender-confused, even if, in the purely technical sense, their behavioral issues are different…..and so while I heartily agree that the “T” should be removed from LGBT, I would just take it a step further….and I am of the opinion that if that additional step is not taken, we are still going to be more or less in the same boat.

  17. Jack Rickman says


    Thanks for the reply and for explaining your perspective. Let me see if I can sort it a bit further.

    “Transgender” means all conduct that is gender atypical. It does not only mean transsexual. So all of the folks that you described in your last comment – the divas, drag queens, effeminate males – are “transgender.” They would be transgender regardless of whether they were gay or straight. Since they are transgender, it does make sense that they would be more likely to be supporters of “trans” rights and “LGBT.”

    However, it doesn’t follow from that that you can “purge” the gay movement of these gay people. They are homosexual and on that basis alone, they will always be a part of the “gay community.” On logical grouinds alone, you could never “purge” them, and even if you tried, you would drawn into a quagmire of attempting to define exactly where the line of unacceptable effeminacy is. It is a pointless exercise that will never happen.

    What we can purge is the obnoxious idea that effeminacy defines what it means to be gay or that gender atypical behavior is inextricably linked with being gay. That is the very archaic thinking that the gay movement fought through the entire 20th century. It was only when the cruel and reactionary concepts of “LGBT” and its cousin “queer” were developed in the 1990s that LGBs started to embrace the stereotype and define themselves around it.

    Incidentally, a lot of masculine gays stupidly embrace LGBT and “queer” because they like the idea that the gay movement should be in deep, long-term conflict with the larger society. They don’t like the idea of a mainstream civil rights movement accomplishing a list of public policy goals. They want a war on the “gender binary” and thus they support the idea of “queer” or “LGBT” which is a more innocuous way of saying the same thing.

  18. Rick says

    @Jack Rickman All good points….and I have just started to try to figure out how to come up with a new paradigm that would divide what I would call woman-identifying men from man-identifying men. I appreciate your point about the difficulty of doing that, but you have to concede that, because we are dealing with human sexuality–which comes in a thousand shades of gray, rather than in the two shades of black and white–ANY kind of classification scheme is necessarily arbitrary and imperfect.

    I mean, in reality, only a tiny, tiny proportion of what would be considered “gay” men are exclusively “homosexual”–the vast majority have had sex with a woman at least once and the group of men (and women) in society who would be functionally bisexual if you removed the taboo against same-sex sexual relations would constitute a huge proportion of the population, probably a majority….and that would really dwarf any concept of “gay”

    What I see happening among men, now, is, in fact, a loosening of these sexual barriers that have resulted in “straight” and “gay” being absolute barriers to each other, artificial categories that they are…..and as that process happens and more and more masculine men begin to have sex and closer emotional ties with other men, these categories will disappear organically and we will have one male culture, that is characterized both by an embrace of masculine values AND by sexual and emotional freedom of the sort that will render the whole idea of “gay” meaningless.

    But that process can only happen if we do away with the idea that men having sex with each other and/or being involved with each other emotionally is somehow inherently associated with effeminacy….to circle around back to your original point.

    So we may not really be disagreeing, just seeing things from a slightly different angle and using different assumptions.

  19. Jack Rickman says


    That’s a very interesting vision of the future. You are really describing a kind of revival of one aspect of the culture of ancient Greece and Rome (and to a degree, Japan), albeit in a modern, Western setting.

    I would love to see this happen. However, realistically, that sort of deep cultural change would take many decades to germinate and then to establish itself as dominant in the population. Although cultural change happens much faster now because of globalization and the internet, you are probably looking at a century or longer to establish a change like this.

    As for right now, there is a discrete group called “homosexuals” and that would include anyone who is homosexual to any degree, i.e., Kinsey 1-6. The only ones who aren’t included are Kinsey 0s (complete heterosexuals) and perhaps those men and women whose homosexual feelings and experiences are so fleeting or circumstantial so that it has no impact on their lives or self-image. Other than that, if you are gay to any degree, then you are in the club. Once you start arguing that a masculine Kinsey 6 is in but a fem Kinsey 4 is not, you are in a maze of confusion and would wind up alienating everyone. If you want to discourage the celebration of effeminacy, the way to do that is through social incentives and discincentives (i.e., social reward and stigma). It is more of a social phenomenon among gay men. So if there is a response to it, it should be similarly social in nature, not political. (Example: If a gay friend refers to me or another guy “girl” or uses a female pronoun to refer to another male, I’ll call him out. This destroys the assumption that feminizing language is always accepted among gays.)

    In contrast, “LGBT” doesn’t reflect any social reality. It is pure political ideology. It demands a political solution. LGBT was foisted on all of us almost overnight, without debate. Undoing it would not require deep social change and should not require decades or centuries to accomplish. We should tell the people who grafted the “T” on to take it off. We can be friends and even allies to Ts, but this idea that we are one and the same and that we have to subordinate all our goals to them is offensive.

  20. says

    Oh, well, as long as those of you vehemently opposed to “LGBT” are completely cowardly closet cases (yay, alliteration!) your hoped-for future will never come.

    You can ramble from your anonymous closets about your disdain for “femmes” or transpeople, or gender-nonconformists, but the reality is you won’t ever see the future you’re wishing would come. why? because you don’t have the balls to Live Out – and all the people that you’re complaining about do. sorry. like the pathetic republicans who believe that one day the South Will Rise Again, so too are the “i hate femme guys” gays doomed to a miserable future. oh well. not my mess 😀

  21. Artie_in_Lauderdale says

    Would it be better to include people in one legally protected group based on their sexual orientation, and a second legally protected group based on the fact of their transition or sex-change surgery? What I mean is that trans people themselves want society to accept their chosen gender. If you follow that logic, then trans people should be covered by two completely different sets of laws, depending on their sexual orientation. Only trans people who are gay or bisexual would be covered under laws regarding sexual orientation, which protect LGB people from discrimination. On the other hand, all trans people would be covered by an entirely different set of laws that protect people from discrimination based on gender transition or sex-change surgery.

    What I’m suggesting is to stop trying to bundle two completely different kinds of laws together because they really don’t belong together. Both kinds of laws are worthy goals, but they should be submitted to legislatures as separate bills. This would end the situation of one side claiming that their rights are being held hostage or the other side claiming that they are being thrown under the bus. The two kinds of laws would make their way through legislatures at their own pace, which seems fair to me. I think that LGB people would be more than willing to throw their support behind separate laws dealing with trans people simply because they understand the discrimination that comes from Christianist oppression.

  22. says

    any gay person who doesn’t stand in solidarity with our trans brothers and sisters is a failure of a human being.

    dont’ expect the straight populations to give a damn about you if you don’t give a damn about your trans brothers and sisters.

  23. Armando says

    The ad hominem attacks are getting really old and boring. To say that someone’s argument is false because they aren’t out must also mean that someones argument is true because they are out.

    In this case I do believe that we are part of a movement based on inclusiveness. To not include Transgender people is basically saying it’s OK to discriminate against them, but not OK to discriminate against us. Politically it makes sense, but morally THAT is cowardly.

  24. DB says

    I think the problem with this ballot initiative is that the authors included an unrelated demographic characteristic, ‘gender identity’, on a proposition that should only have included one characteristic (‘sexual orientation’). Successful civil rights laws are those that focus on specific characteristics rather than try to throw in irrelevant characteristics. For example, the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 included ‘race’ but did not include ‘sexual orientation’. If it had included sexual orientation, it almost certainly would not have passed in 1964. Similarly, we need to support only civil rights bills that include sexual orientation and oppose those with a poison pill inclusion of gender identity.

  25. DB says

    I’ve written my Congresswoman about the need to introduce an improved version of the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) that bans discrimination on the basis of ‘sexual orientation’ instead of lumping in the ‘gender identity’ characteristic. I think it is critical that we make clear that it is important to pass laws banning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and never to add on other unrelated demographic characteristics such as gender identity. The only reason ENDA has failed so far and millions of families are vulnerable to homophobic discrimination is because of the inclusion of the gender identity language.

  26. DB says

    Jack Rickman, Amen. I agree 100% with everything you wrote. Survey results I saw on this subject showed that over 70% of gay people believe it is important to pass laws banning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation without adding in other unrelated characteristics such as handedness, eye color, gender identity, etc.

Leave A Reply