The Alaska Division of Elections, under Lt. Gov. Kevin Meyer, recently posted answers to frequently asked questions it has received about the security and integrity of the recent 2020 general election in Alaska.
The answers dealt with questions regarding the use of Sharpie markers to fill out ballots, why the state took so long to count absentee votes, the veracity of the Dominion voter machines, why the Nov. 3 results changed so dramatically after absentee ballots were tallied, and how voters can request a recount in certain races.
The Watchman sent several follow up questions. We have compiled some of the Division’s statements along with Meyer’s answers to our questions and several others submitted by another group of Alaskans including our Publisher Jake Libbey. We have not listed all the questions and answers here. More are provided on the Alaska Division of Elections website.
WHY ALASKA VOTER ROLLS ARE AT 111%
Political watchdog group, Judicial Watch, recently reported that Alaska had 111% voter registration. When asked why the state has more voters registered than actual voters, Meyers explained that this could be due to the fact that state and federal law “allows voters to remain registered in the state as long as they have and intend to return.”
He added that “when people move out of state and don’t notify us, they stay on the rolls for as many as four years, further expanding our voter rolls.”
Meyers said the state has “been consistent with our list maintenance procedures that must comply with both federal and state law.” He also noted that “Any registered Alaskan voter, regardless of location, can vote in our elections.”
According to state law, Alaskans can remain registered voters even if they leave the state for civil or military service, or because of marriage to someone engaged in civil or military service. They may also vote if they are absent for educational reasons, prison terms or because of navigating the high seas. Alaskans do not lose voter rights for residing on an Indian or military reservation. According to state law, residency does not change for the above reasons unless a person has the “intent to remain in another place.”
HOW THE STATE ENSURES AGAINST PEOPLE VOTING AN ABSENTEE BALLOTS ISSUED TO SOMEONE ELSE
Meyers referred to Alaska Statute which states that “an absentee ballot must be applied for by the voter requesting the ballot. The only exception is: ‘Another individual may apply for an absentee ballot on behalf of a qualified voter if that individual is designated to act on behalf of the voter in a written general power of attorney or a written special power of attorney that authorizes the other individual to apply for an absentee ballot on behalf of the voter.’”
When this happens state law requires the representative to sign a register that includes the representative’s name, residence, mailing address, social security number, voter ID number and date of birth, along with the name of the voter on whose behalf they are requesting a ballot. The representative must also provide an oath that they will not vote for, coerce or divulge how the absentee voters voted. Violation of this oath is a class C felony.
CONCERNS ABOUT DOMINION VOTING MACHINES
Dominion is a company that makes voting machines used in 28 states including Alaska. A number of allegations have surfaced in the general election about whether these machines can flip votes or reduce votes for a given candidate. President Trump’s legal team has made these claims in several states.
When asked about whether Meyer has any concerns with Dominion machines he said, “No, this is the same system that was used in the August 2020 primary election. The division conducted three recounts following the certification of the election. Two were conducted using the central scanners and resulted in identical results as what was certified by the state review board. One was conducted by hand count and also resulted in identical results as what was certified by the state review board.”
Additionally, Meyer said that “a hand count verification of one randomly drawn precinct is conducted following each election for a precinct that accounted for at least 5% of the total votes for the district. These hand count verifications have revealed no vote counting anomalies.”
When asked about the allegations that Dominion machines can run software that has the ability to flip or intentionally miscount votes Meyer said those questions “should be referred to Dominion for accurate answers.”
The state website also claims that there are “no credible reports or evidence of fraud or widespread issues from any states that use Dominion Voting equipment, including Alaska.”
Sydney Powell, who worked with the Trump legal team and who is now working independently, claims she has considerable evidence that the Dominion machines were used to perpetuate election fraud in Georgia. That suit is set to be filed on Nov. 25.
HOW HAND-COUNT VERIFICATION WORKS
In accordance with state law, the Division of Elections oversees a hand count of ballots from one randomly selected precinct in each of the 40 house districts across the state. This is still ongoing, but Meyer said “so far, there has been no problems reported verifying the accuracy of the machines. Once this process is complete a report will be available from the Division of Elections.”
HOW TO ENSURE THERE ARE NOT MORE VOTES THAN VOTERS
Meyer said the State Review Board compares the number of total ballots cast with the number of voters recorded in the precinct register lists and the total machine counts. For absentee ballots, the division’s website says the state reviews the absentee and questioned ballot registers to ensure they reflect the number of ballots actually cast.
CONCERNS WITH THE LACK OF WITNESS SIGNATURES ON MAIL-IN BALLOTS
Just before the election, the Alaska Supreme Court ruled that the state could not enforce Alaska law which requires a witness signature on all mail-in ballots. When asked whether he thought this compromised the integrity of these ballots, Meyer responded thus: “As we told the court when the witness signature requirement was being challenged, it serves an important purpose as a fraud deterrent. It is one of several tools that our election statutes provide to prevent, deter, and detect fraud and to ensure only the ballots of qualified voters are counted. Because it is just one of several tools, we still have confidence in the process and our election results. Every absentee ballot application and envelope was reviewed by division staff, and then of course a bipartisan board reviews every envelope to determine whether it is submitted by a qualified voter.”
Click here to read the Division of Election’s response to several other questions submitted by Alaskans.