People are losing trust in the election processes and elected officials. Doing nothing in Juneau is getting old and people are fed up.
Have we forgotten that we who are elected serve at the pleasure of the people who elected us? Why is it that we run for office, promise the world, get elected and then don’t talk to the people who got us elected until we run for office again?
This cycle breeds distrust in the people we serve – our bosses. We report to them, work for them, are accountable to them and should make ourselves available to them. Raising money, getting elected, blaming the system for no results, saying we need more time to accomplish things, raising more money to get elected again for the things your first promised years ago – this has got to go!
I am not perfect by any means, but I answered to no special interest groups and did precisely what I said I was going to do – balanced the budget and not raise taxes. I have been doing this every year, day in and day out, with a great team at the Kenai Peninsula Borough. I also keep a literal open meeting policy. Anyone from the public is welcome to come into my office and meet with me. If I am in my office at the time, I will make time for you right then and there. If I am busy, then we will schedule a meeting for later. You don’t have to be a president of a company or a lobbyist to get an appointment with me. I’m a small-town guy raised by a mom who showed me that the value of people is not in their titles or how much money they make but in who they are as a person.
ALASKA WATCHMAN DIRECT TO YOUR INBOX
The other thing that Alaskans are losing faith in is our election system. Does my vote count? Why aren’t there stricter voter ID laws? How much voter fraud happens each year? Why are there not forensic audits on each election cycle? These are the types of questions I hear all the time from good, hard-working Alaskans all over the Kenai Borough, and I guess it rings true statewide as well. The average person I meet does not trust the system. Again, what are we doing to win back this trust?
Making political statements about trying to fix it – or looking into it – is not enough anymore. We need action and results at the state level. Anyone who tells you election fraud does not happen is lying.
A former elected official allegedly committed election fraud recently to get reelected. This potential election fraud happened just a couple years ago. What if there was more but she was the only one who got caught?
I get that there is no way of telling, but that’s why a forensic audit would at least help restore trust because you don’t have to look back but a couple of years to find this huge election fraud case happening right here in Alaska. Click here to see more all around the country.
The bottom line is that election fraud occurs, and we need to do a better job as a state to not only make sure it doesn’t happen anymore, while also taking steps to do things differently to prevent it.
So, what can you do as elected officials? You may not like what I have to say, but there is probably a reason for that. It’s called accountability. I encourage you to be grateful to the people who helped you get elected, know that you are accountable to the people that elected you, and make sure you show them that you know that. Secondly, give the Lt. Governor the tools he needs to ensure election fraud does not happen again in our back yards. We are losing the trust of the people, and doing nothing in Juneau is getting old fast.
The views expressed here are those of the writer.