For Anchorage resident Braylon Blades, a small factual error in a listing for Rocky Knudsen on the State of Alaska Division of Elections website has turned into an unexpected headache.
“The calls started about two months ago,” Blades said. “People were asking for Rocky.”
The filing period for the August Primary election opened on June 2. Until early August, the second to last digit was filed incorrectly for District 29 Democratic candidate Knudsen who is running against House Speaker Mike Chenault, R-Niksiki.
“I haven’t had any calls in a few days,” Blades said on Sunday. “But they usually don’t call over the weekends.”
At first Blades said he ignored the calls. After a month he started answering and asking the person on the other end of the line if he could “be taken off their list.”
Blades said the strangest part was after he explained who he was, the callers would continue to ask for “Rocky.” He said it was as if they couldn’t comprehend the person on the end of the line wasn’t Knudsen.
It seemed that most people were calling just to talk, Blades said. They didn’t have any urgent purpose as far as he could tell. But even when his voicemail picked up the call, which says, “this is Braylon,” they still would ask for Knudsen.
“Maybe they thought I was a campaign manager or something,” Blades said.
Blades said he finally figured out why he was getting the calls when a Clarion reporter called and asked to confirm the contact information for Knudsen’s race. Blades said he isn’t registered to vote in Central Kenai Peninsula elections. However, he grew up in Soldotna and moved to Anchorage in 2010 to attend the University of Anchorage.
As of Monday, the phone number for Knudsen on the elections.alaska.gov website has been corrected.
Kelly Sullivan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org