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Tuesday, January 22, 2019
HomePolitics and PolicyWas Fairbanks race tainted by ‘League of Women Vote Harvesters’?

Was Fairbanks race tainted by ‘League of Women Vote Harvesters’?

Vote harvesting — a practice by special interest groups to gather ballots from people and turn them into polling stations — may be a factor in the District 1 House race between Democrat Kathryn Dodge and Republican Bart LeBon.

LeBon won that race by one vote, but Dodge has mounted a legal challenge of four votes, hoping to get a judge to overturn the decision of the Division of Elections.

Ballot harvesting is gaining more attention nationally. An investigation is now underway in North Carolina, where political operatives collected and may have stolen absentee ballots in a congressional race.

[Read: Absentee vote changes may have led to vote harvesting.]

A political operative in North Carolina employed a crew to go door to door urging people to request absentee ballots. Later, his team collected the ballots, purportedly to deliver them to election officials but handed them over to another political operative first, destroying the chain of custody for the ballots and introducing a possibility of corruption.

WHAT HAPPENED IN FAIRBANKS?

In Fairbanks, the League of Women Voters collaborated and coordinated with the Division of Elections to gather absentee ballots from the hospital and Pioneer Home, where elderly people reside.

Dozens of absentee ballots were delivered to the Fairbanks Elections Office by League of Women Voters volunteers.

That collaboration is in question, since the League is no longer acknowledged as a neutral group by conservatives.

In fact, conservative political advisers now counsel candidates to avoid debates being moderated by the League, because members from coast to coast have a record of supporting Democrats and harassing Republicans.

The Alaska Division of Elections still considers it a neutral group.

[Read: Florida League of Women Voters objects to governor’s appointment to schools post]

The Tanana Valley League of Women Voters has a record of supporting Democrats and their causes and opposing Republicans, as seen in their social media account:

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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

  • It has been the League of Leftist Women Voters for a very long time. When I ran for School Board in Juneau twenty years ago they tried to mau-mau me at their candidate forum with questions that had to have been straight from the teachers’ union. And the truly vile thing here is vote harvesting at the Pioneer Home, the residents of which are primarily seniors with senile dementia. Just who really cast that ballot?

    • Art, you are so correct. My own dad was in the Pioneer Home in Fairbanks (District 1) two years ago and I stopped by to pick him up to vote in his registered district (5). Come to find out that he had already voted at the Pioneer Home. He’s an Alzheimer’s patient. So, who held his hand and circled in the oval for him? Dad was s Republican.
      This stuff has to stop. Lt. Gov. KEVIN MEYERS, are you listening? We all know that BYRON MALLOTT has fled the state and in hiding.

      • Good Lord! You’ve got to be kidding me Naomi! You must have been livid. Add this to the long, long list of the existing wrongs that need to “righted”. Kevin has his work cut out for him, there is no doubt about that. I am sure the liberals will buck him every step of the way. The entire voting mess is one of my biggest peeves.

  • I thought that voters showed up “in-person” at their designated precincts, with ID, so that this kind of crap didn’t take place. Go back to the old way, with strict enforcement. Or this stuff will never stop.

    • Yep! One person, one vote. All the rest of this crap is designed to skew the vote. If you can’t vote on voting day because you are out of the area for actually reasons then you can cast an absentee ballot, other than that you need to be a living person in that district and go vote at the polling station.

  • Lets ask Gabby. Why isn’t this group all over the Mallot hub bub?

  • If you look in the above article, this situation is only relative to “absentee ballots.”

    • Bill Yankee
      Not over absentee ballots its about CHEATING! Until the cheaters are held accountable and serve time in the gray bar hotel it will continue!

      This is a socialist movement nation wide. It has to stop. The problem is some people get into office broke and finish their term rich so cheating has rewards. Like Obama said he is going to fundamentally change America. He tried and I wonder how many harvested ballots assisted him?

      • Well voter, the only cheating that has been shown relative to absentee ballots is in N.C. and I really doubt that this is any kind of “socialist movement.”
        Also, this article hasn’t suggested any sort of “cheating,” either. I suspect that some N.C. characters may do some time over their situation but I really doubt that any League of Women Voters will be found doing anything similar (such as collecting unsealed ballots).

  • Quote: “ART CHANCE / DECEMBER 8, 2018
    It has been the League of Leftist Women Voters for a very long time. When I ran for School Board in Juneau twenty years ago they tried to mau-mau me at their candidate forum with questions that had to have been straight from the teachers’ union.”

    Same situation with my school board trials. Even back then in the 90’s in Ketchikan, the league was exposed as a liberal anti-group towards any conservative issue.
    Just naming the membership in a small community confirms the bent politically.

  • Leftist, rightist, the League gets accused of a lot of things…but for 100 years the organization has NEVER endorsed a candidate, and supported many programs endorsed by both Republican and Democratic leaders alike…the League’s focus is issues and encouraging an informed electorate. Today the League is in the forefront as it always has been on protecting voting rights, affordable healthcare, quality public schools, clean energy, and sensible, open and ethical public policy. Interestingly the author above who worked for Jeb Bush, who has been a huge supporter of Core Curriculum, got the League’s support for this in Florida…so the bottom line is while parties and issues ebb and flow, the League stays non partisan and tries to look for effective policy that will advance the public good.

  • “Local artist Kate Wool”? Isn’t she Adam Wool’s wife? In a previous comment, I wrote on how the left has effectively hijacked the FNSB assembly for many years through the at-large apportionment scheme. The LWV is another group who willingly chose to avoid any discussion on that issue. Finally, I remember a time when the Pioneer Home was its own precinct, which fell victim to consolidation of precincts over time. Of course, this was back when you were likely to actually find (P/p)ioneers living there as opposed to dementia patients.

  • FNSB Assembly is always weighted towards the Left. After Rep. John Davies got beat by Ralph Seekins in a state senate race, Davies made it his mission to tilt Fairbanks way out to the Left. He engineered Luke Hopkins win in 09. Luke was not very intelligent and had to hold Davie’s hand every step of the way. Davies is the prime mover to get rid of wood stoves in FBX. That didn’t work too well this fall when voters took away the FNSB’s enforcement powers over air quality. As for Adam Wool: his only business acumen is that he runs a bar and an ice cream cone stand in FBX. He gets college-age kids drunk and then gives them cavities. But they vote for him. Shows you that the pied piper, global warming screamers have the ear of the young and unemployed, as well as the old, retired state workers and retired teachers union mob. Then they all go to Raven’s Landing to die.

    • “Always”? Some years back, Michael Dukes and his buddy Merrick Peirce kept pushing the idea that “half the assembly lives on Riverview Drive” during a time when only one assembly member lived in the entire city limits of Fairbanks. Unfortunately, they were decades behind the times on that one. For a dozen or so years after the mandatory boroughs were incorporated, assemblies throughout the state were typically bifurcated: approximately half the members were appointed from city councils of home rule or first-class cities, while the balance were elected from outside the cities. I assume that Reynolds v. Sims (“one man, one vote”) was the impetus to eliminate that scheme, though I really can’t say for sure.

      When I first started following the FNSB assembly in the 1980s, you had folks like Hank Bartos, Chris Birch, Walt Johnson, Buzz Otis, Joe Ryan, Bruce Wammack and Bonnie Williams as members. It would be quite a stretch to claim that any of them are/were far to the left, even if some of them leaned left.

      • True back then, but not anymore. Natalie Howard was one of the most conservative in 2009-2014. She had enough of Luke Hopkin’s idiocy and departed from the Assembly. She could have beat Luke for Mayor.

    • Yeah, but not soon enough.

    • Can we please send some Republican “helpers” over to Raven’s Landing during the next election cycle to give the senile Democrats a hand in darkening the ovals. Republicans would like to repay their gratitude.