State issues supplemental voter pamphlet; Bill Walker missing from original
With the general election less than a month away, residents around the state should have received an Official Election Pamphlet (OEP) in the mail this week.
The pamphlet, issued by the state’s Division of Elections, contains information on how to vote, voting locations and candidate and ballot measure information, among other material.
Voters should have also received a much smaller, Supplemental Information pamphlet in their mailboxes. Inside the packet, a note from DOE director Gail Fenumiai details why the second booklet was issued to voters.
“The Division of Elections recently sent the Official Election Pamphlet to each registered voter household,” Fenumiai says in the letter. “Unfortunately, the pamphlet did not contain a page for one of the governor candidates.”
That candidate is Bill Walker, who is running on what has been called the “Unity Ticket” with Byron Mallott. Walker and Mallott officially joined forces on the independent ticket in September to take on Gov. Sean Parnell in November.
Fenumiai says the omission was due to an administrative error, adding that Walker did not submit his materials by the deadline.
“It came to the division’s attention after the pamphlet was being printed and had been printed that Mr. Walker did not receive a courtesy letter that the division routinely sends to remind candidates of the deadline,” Fenumiai said.
Walker says the oversight isn’t ideal, but he doesn’t think “there was any wrongdoing on anybody’s part or any strategy.” He does admit, however, that the original omission isn’t ideal.
“There’s no question it hurts me,” said Walker of his position as a candidate. “But, you know, things happen. And we contacted the Division of Elections immediately. They acknowledged the error on their part and their solution was acceptable.”
Upon discovery of the error, the DOE worked with Walker’s campaign to rectify the situation. Fenumiai says both parties agreed upon the supplemental pamphlet as the solution. The new pamphlet only contains information on all candidates running for governor and lieutenant governor.
Fenumiai says Walker wasn’t the only candidate affected by the oversight, but she says the other candidates contacted the DOE to submit their materials before the deadline. Walker, she says, was the only gubernatorial candidate that did not submit by the deadline.
“There’s nothing in state law to monitor if candidates have or have not submitted information,” Fenumiai said, adding that the letter the DOE sends to candidates to remind them of the submission deadline is a courtesy, not a requirement.
Voters should have received the supplemental information pamphlet in the mail last week. An online version can be found here.
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