Election 2020 pic

With talk of allowing widespread mail-in balloting across Alaska, a group of concerned conservatives are holding an online public meeting on June 1 to discuss ways of ensuring the integrity of statewide elections this fall.

“If our elections aren’t completely truthful, transparent and verifiable, then all our efforts, hard work and support are in vain, if the system can be rigged,” writes John Miller, president of the Alaska Republican Assembly (AKRA). “We need to demand accountability.”

Ballots mailed to voters who have died, moved out of state or who simply throw the ballots in the trash are ripe for corruption through ballot harvesting.

Miller’s letter was sent out to conservative Alaskans earlier this month in the lead up to the meeting. The AKRA is a non-profit organization that aims to advance conservative candidates and policies. Participants at the upcoming gathering will include Alaska’s Lieut. Gov. Kevin Meyer, former U.S. Senate candidate Joe Miller and Brian Endle, who recently lost a close race for the Mat-Su Borough Assembly.

Concerns about changing the way Alaskans vote by mail is also worrisome to the Alaska Republican Party. Alaska currently allows any resident to vote by mail, but they must personally request a ballot. In March, however, the Legislature gave the Division of Election freedom to implement a mail-in voting system for Alaska’s primary elections. This would include mailing out 900,000 ballots to 450,000 Alaskans, 70% of which never vote. Citing concern about unsecured ballots floating around the state, Lieut. Gov. Kevin Meyer rejected the idea, at least for the state primaries.

The Alaska Republican Party (ARP) has long encouraged its base to apply for absentee ballots under the traditional request system.

“In doing so, the ARP knew that absentee ballots had election integrity and safeguards in place to protect voter rights,” said ARP Vice Chair Ann Brown in a recent letter to state Republicans. “Sadly, our strong election process is now in jeopardy because Democrats want to eliminate the safeguards that allow legitimate absentee ballots to be secure.”

At issue is fear that “ballot harvesting” will be abused, Brown noted.

Ballots mailed to voters who have died, moved out of state or who simply throw the ballots in the trash are ripe for corruption through ballot harvesting, which includes the practice of allowing political volunteers and others to collect ballots and return them en masse to polling locations on election day.

The upcoming meeting on election integrity opens at 6:30 p.m. on June 1. The meeting takes place via Zoom.


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Alaska conservatives invited to discuss protecting election integrity

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 24 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.