Voting problems, fraud, scandals plague polling places across America: Alaska
FAIRBANKS, ALASKA — November 14, 2018
The Fairbanks Division of Elections began processing absentee ballots Thursday last week from Tuesday’s general election. These hundreds of ballots span all Fairbanks-area districts and could be the deciders in two legislative races. Rep. Scott Kawasaki, D-Fairbanks, and Sen. Pete Kelly, R-Fairbanks, were neck and neck in the race for Fairbanks’ Senate Seat A.
Kelly led Kawasaki by only 11 votes, which could easily be changed after absentee ballots are processed, NewsMiner reported.
The other pivotal Fairbanks-area race is for House District 1 between Republican Bart LeBon and Democrat Kathryn Dodge. At the end of the night, LeBon led Dodge by 79 votes. This is a much larger margin than in the Kelly/Kawasaki race, but still not impossible to overcome.
“Before we even open the ballot and begin tallying, we have to verify that it’s valid,” Fairbanks regional director for the Division of Elections Jeremy Johnson said. “We look at a number of things. Is it signed by the voter? Did they verify some sort of identification? Was it witnessed? Was it postmarked by Tuesday? We also have to make sure there was no change in voter record or registration within 30 days of the election.”
Reviewing and validating ballots is more complicated than one might think. There are a lot of details to look at with each absentee ballot, which is part of the reason why the review takes so long, Jeremy said.
The division has reviewed 92 ballots from District 1; 84 ballots from District 2; 105 ballots from District 3; 188 ballots from District 4; 133 ballots from District 5; 245 ballots from District 6; and 268 ballots from District 9. None of these ballots have been tallied or included in election results, Jeremy emphasized.
“Next Tuesday is the seven-day count after the election,” Johnson said. “That’s when ballots begin to be tabulated and the votes will be posted.”
“Are the Division of Elections counting those that are at the Fairbanks Correctional Center? What about those dead people and those that are no longer resident of the city or state that are still on the Voters roll? How come the Woman League of Voters and Division of Elections don't purge the voters roll? I've been asking that same question for that past 20 years or more?” reader Frank Turney questioned in the comments section.