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    Lt. Gov. Meyer introduces bill to address Alaska’s election integrity

    By AlaskaWatchman.com

    Election integrity is a major concern in states across the nation, including Alaska. To address absentee voting and other voting issues, Alaska Lt. Gov. Kevin Meyer introduced a bill on Feb. 12, which aims to provide additional tools for the Division of Elections to increase Alaskan’s trust in elections and the voting process.

    “The integrity of our elections is of utmost importance – we cannot have a functioning democracy without it,” Meyer said of his legislation. “This bill would not create an overhaul of our existing elections system but rather bolster what already works.”

    Meyer said SB 83 reflects his firsthand experience in overseeing the 2020 primary and general elections.

    Meyer’s Senate Bill 83 adds to the cluster of election integrity bills which have already been introduced in the current legislative session by Sen. Mike Shower (SB 39), Sen. Shelley Hughes (SB 43), and Rep. George Rauscher (HB 23).

    “There are many issues being considered by my bill and the ones already under consideration in the Legislature,” Meyer said in response to Watchman questions. “I am looking to add new ideas to the conversations already happening in committee. Whatever we can do to increase trust and transparency in elections we support, whether that be the ideas in Senator Shower’s bill, Senator Hughes’ bill, or any legislator that is working on this type of election reform.

    Meyer said ideas presented in SB 83 reflect his firsthand experience in overseeing the 2020 primary and general elections. A particular motivation for the bill arises from the Alaska Supreme Court ruling which did away with the witness verification signature which is intended to ensure the identity of absentee voters.

    Meyer said he hopes his bill works to ‘reinforce the fundamental cornerstone of one person one vote.’

    “The Supreme Court decision to eliminate the witness signature gave rise to the issue that our statutes needed more specificity surrounding the voter certificates on absentee ballots,” Meyer said. “When reviewing the statutes during the legal challenge to the witness signature, we found that these sections needed to be strengthened to make the legislative intent perfectly clear of what the requirements are that need to be met for an absentee ballot to be legally submitted and counted.”

    Additionally, Meyer’s bill allows the Division of Elections to conduct more random audits in voter precincts if concerns arise about fraud or misconduct during elections. Currently, the division can only conduct an audit in one precinct per district.

    The bill also gives the Division of Elections the option to allow mail-in voting should the state get locked out of a small community (less than 750 residents) due to something like COVID, or if poll worker recruitment proves to be too difficult to get enough workers to open the polls normally, Meyer said.

    “Recruitment difficulties in some of our smaller communities demonstrated a need for the flexibility to provide additional options to maintain Alaskans’ right to vote,” he said.

    Meyer’s bill also allows the state to use regulations, rather than statutes, to set the price for recount costs.

    “These figures were last changed over 15 years ago and do not accurately reflect the actual costs of recounting races,” Meyer said. “By moving them to regulation the Division would be able to adjust the amounts to reflect those actual costs as well as accommodating for hand counts, if requested.”

    Meyer said he hopes the bill can “make Alaska’s elections more efficient, more secure, and work to reinforce the fundamental cornerstone of one person one vote.”

    TAKING ACTION

    • Senate Bill 83 is currently in the Senate State Affairs Committee. Click here to contact members of the committee.

    Click here to support the Alaska Watchman.

    Joel Davidson
    Joel Davidson
    Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 20 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.

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    12 Comments

    1. I hope this takes the power out of the hands of the judiciary running Alaska. Our Governor needs to stand strong and not be overrun by the other branches creating chaos. The legislature is a mess also. When they do not operate within the Rule of Law in all three of the branches there is chaos and the biggest bullies rule. We need to get rid of the Dominion voting machine. Is that in one of the bills? I have already signed a petition to ban it in Alaska.

    2. Myer and Dunleavy should have told the Alaska Supreme Court Thank You for your Opinion but we will continue to require the witness signature as written by the State Legislature. It clearly states in the United States Constitution Under Article 1 Section 4 “The Times, Places, and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives , shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof”. Plain and simple English it is the duty of the Legislature not the Court System.

      • Alaska Voter, you are exactly correct. Why didn’t the Dunleavy Administration blow off the courts re “thanks for your opinion” but we are going to follow State law? Equal branches of govt. This is a case of the courts legislating.

      • Legislators need to start taking responsibilities for their office, not shove the cards down the table to biased courts. Many of these elected officials sit on their hands with their mouths agape while the loud mouths run the show. Past time for the wimps to do their homework and exercise their vocal cords.

    3. Our municipality in Juneau has decided to repeat the experiment of mail in ballots again for municipal elections in October. I received six at my house with two voters actually in the state. There’s no point in voting.

    4. Integrity…? That went out the window when Bill Walker hired a democrat to be the director of elections, who in-turn authorized buying into the Dominion voting machine system. As long as these machines are around, there is no trust. The same goes with mail-in voting. Show up, in person, WITH ID and vote. Ballets are hand counted. NO “midnight counting”. Counting without observers leads to stolen elections. Ask expert election thief Ruby Freeman of Atlanta.

    5. I appreciate our Legislators for addressing this issue quickly. I am thankful the discussion will be open and hope to hear many voters commenting during public testimony providing for “on the record” input on each bill to aid our legislators.

    6. For the mail-in voting. There should not be mass mailing ballots. Instead have a system for request for mail-in or absentee voting. Having the people go to the center to vote absentee with Voter ID works well. Also there needs to be a check system for people who move out of Alaska and and the permanent fund voting eligibility. Maybe hiring honest citizens of Alaskans before major elections to update eligible voters might help. Since Alaska is small we don’t need Dominion, or like computers to tally votes.

    7. The Lt. Governor has two duties, elections and guarding the state seal. He has had two years to shore up the shortcomings in our state elections yet he did nothing.
      Here is the state of your elections, thanks to a gutless and/ or lt. govenor.
      1. There was no chain of custody for absentee ballots due to: (a) there is no signature verification system, the DOE only relies on one the 5 identifiers, (b) absentee ballots are mixed in with the other ballots.
      2. The witness signature is meaningless because the division of elections does not check to see if the witness is actually who they say they are.
      This bill would also allow the camel’s nose under the tent for mail in ballots, first the villages then the entire state.
      In other words the lt governor is attempting a cya and at the same time degrading election integrity with mail in ballots.

    8. Myer and Dunleavy are the ones who saw to purchase and implement the Dominion Smartmatic system prior to the election, no wonder the prop. 2 passed now Alaskans have no voice in who’s on the ballot!!! Voter integrity my ass Lt. Gov. Myer and Dumblevy must both be removed!!!

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