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Saturday, November 17, 2018
HomePolitics and PolicyUpdate: Sitka’s mysterious missing ballots

Update: Sitka’s mysterious missing ballots

JUST ONE QUARTER OF THE VOTES HAVE BEEN COUNTED IN DISTRICT 35

11/8/2018 UPDATE: An update to the count has been posted at the Division of Elections.

Hawkins

The director of the Division of Elections said this morning that it is not the machines themselves that were broken, but at the end of the night on Tuesday the Election workers tried to print the results from the optical scanning units, the “Ender Cards” were no longer functioning because their tracker marks — bar codes — were not being read by the machines. The Division is working with Dominion Voting Systems to determine why. There are paper ballots to back up the results, she said.

Further, the delivery of the memory cards from these machines and the other election materials, the Sitka Goldstreak Office was closed in the early morning hours before the flight left Sitka. Those materials then arrived in Juneau after the Gold Streak office was closed.

ORIGINAL STORY

The polls closed at 8 pm on Tuesday, and the House District 35 seat occupied by Rep. Jonathan Kreiss-Tompkins was reported to remain with Kreiss-Tomkins, who hopped on a plane Wednesday to head for Anchorage and the House minority caucus organizational meeting.

But only 1,276 votes were counted for Kreiss-Tomkins, and 974 votes counted for challenger Richard Wein.

What happened to about 4,000 votes that have just gone missing?

According to reports from local residents, two voting machines in Sitka (Precinct 1 and 2), as well as one each in Craig, Klawock, Prince of Wales Island, and Kake, are said to have malfunctioned.

No other voting machines around the state failed — only six, and all in District 35. What are the odds?

The “end cards” didn’t go through the machines properly, and so the chips are being sent to Juneau by air. As of now,  six precincts have had no ballots counted, Must Read Alaska has learned.

As of Wednesday evening, the Division of Elections had issued no notification about why so many machines failed in just one district. Nor has it explained where the ballots are from those machines, what the plan is for counting those ballots, and how the public can be assured of the security of those votes.

Must Read Alaska will contact the Division of Elections for answers on Thursday, but for now, there are as many as 4,000 ballots in the wild, with no public notification as to their whereabouts.

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Written by

Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • Ms. Bahnke has some explaining to do again? What an awful feeling, once again. If she isn’t already, she should be dusting off her resume. No doubt she is on the chopping block. This job was a gift from Byron. She was in way over her head from the start. The Division Director position should NEVER be taken so lightly. It’s pretty shameful how this entire thing has been handled. Let’s end this experiment now. It’s so painful to keep watching this wounded duck administration.

    • Another “gift” from Byron. The Lt. Governor who keeps on giving. What is it with Byron Mallott and all of these incompetent women who receive “gifts?” The time has come for an ADPS investigation into Mallott’s “gifting” program.

  • Maybe they should ask Gabby where they are.

  • Keep on this story, Suzanne. Those AccuVote machines are getting older and should be replaced. Diebold’s optical scanners are not tamper proof. The ballots are standardized and should be read by the scanner when prompted by the timing mark’s on the borders of each ballot. For all AccuVotes to fail in one area of the state does sound suspicious.

  • I just volunteered to help with voting poles this year, it is a lot harder than it looks from the voting side, but that being said- the backups to things going wrong is pretty precise and can’t understand how so many could’ve gone bad at once. Something fishy…

  • I have to think that John Henry Hakendorn is involved here somehow. You know the Fansler, Westlake and Parish guy. Maybe there was a worry that JKT was in trouble.

  • This isn’t right. I would really like to know where my vote went. If this unjust voting practice can take place in Southeast Alaska. Just think what it is like all over the United States. Alaska needs to demand a recount. We have been cheated…..

  • This article is wrong in many ways. District 35 was not the only district with this problem, it happened in two other districts as well. The Division sent an email to media just after midnight on Election evening explaining the problem. I had emails telling me the memory cards from Sitka were being shipped to Juneau, when they were enroute and when they arrived and being counted. And right when promised we got the results. The division was very cooperative with media and very responsive to emails and calls.

    • “…memory cards”
      .
      Want to bet something really serious that your “memory cards” arrived in Juneau with an intact, credible chain of custody, that the “memory cards” recorded a true and accurate vote count, contained no fractional-vote count, were not electronically altered or replaced between machines and the Holy City of Juneau, or subjected to any other schemes attributed to nefarious Russians or creative Alaskans when so much money and power are at stake?
      .
      But it is good to be cooperative with one’s BFF’s, the media.

  • Nothing will happen, just like nothing has happened, or will happen, regarding the LeDoux debacle.
    .
    Apparently Alaska has its very own version of the “Deep State”.
    .
    Whether Governor Dunleavy will be able to neutralize the Deep State remains to be seen.

    • We can hope that with a new Lt. Governor riding herd on elections a lot of past pledges of “open” and “transparent” will be unmasked. And…… that “prosecutions” will no longer be a word to provoke giggles.

  • This is unacceptable PERIOD ! With all the money spent on this , I asked the lady why did the number not move 514 before I put my ballot in it stayed on 514 ? What the hell is going on ? Total disgusted with the same faces every time , liming coming in voting , darn it OUR VOTES DO MATTER maybe SITKA SHOULD HAVE RECOUNT or re voting .
    SAD JUST SAD !

  • “Open” and “transparent” were, sadly, only mysterious words to the departing Walker regime. We might well hope that things will change when a new Lt. Governor is looking after elections. Though…there is a long time remaining to ensure that other “how could that have happened?” events to miraculously happen.

  • With a new Lt. Governor in place there is some chance that “open” and “transparent” may once again be words with meaning. We have sore missed them under Regime Walker/Mallot.

  • Gov Mike Dunleavy and his Republican Staff we have been waiting for this
    moment, and Tucker Babcock has all of the valley residents behind him also
    when Dalena Johnson came to our home in Bailey Hill Palmer we had a great
    visit about what will happen to are state if we continue down the path that we
    are in. But we new Mike would become our leader the past is gone, now we can
    make ALASKA GREAT AGAIN to our Republican Party we love you all thank you
    Larry Zenor Palmer

  • How exciting! Alaska has our own Broward County Florida now.

    HINT: There’s a reason why uber-liberal Michael Bloomberg was in Anchorage the day after the election, and why a “spontaneous” slog of paid protestors showed up at the same place and the same time to make the KTUU nightly news against the president firing AG Sessions.

    Wake up, folks. They really want to take over the weakness Alaska election system and our SEVERE lack of conservative representation in the media.

    They want a BLUE Alaska.

    We have to admit we are in trench warfare, baby. No more Mr. Nice Guy.

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