On Tuesday, the Division of Elections will open the voting polls at 7 am.
But one Donald Hennessey, a temporary poll worker at the Division of Elections, has been busy in his off hours giving out disinformation to voters, especially voters who might cast a ballot for House candidate Kathy Henslee, (District 13).
Hennessey’s disinformation campaign, to try to dissuade Henslee voters from heading to the polls early, was caught by a watchful volunteer, who reported it.
On candidate Henslee’s official Facebook campaign page, Hennessey argued with the campaign manager, a volunteer, and Henslee herself, called names, and gave out the wrong information for voting times on several occasions.
That is a federal crime listed on the FBI’s election security page, which describes numerous ways that bad actors can attempt to suppress the vote. The FBI lists “An election or polling place official abuses their office” as one of the crimes.
“Intentionally deceiving qualified voters to prevent them from voting is voter suppression—and it is a federal crime,” the FBI says.
“There are many reputable places you can find your polling location and registration information, including eac.gov and usa.gov/how-to-vote. However, not all publicly available voting information is accurate, and some is deliberately designed to deceive you to keep you from voting,” the FBI reports on its Election Crimes and Security page.
“Bad actors use various methods to spread disinformation about voting, such as social media platforms, texting, or peer-to-peer messaging applications on smartphones. They may provide misleading information about the time, manner, or place of voting. This can include inaccurate election dates or false claims about voting qualifications or methods, such as false information suggesting that one may vote by text, which is not allowed in any jurisdiction,” the FBI explains.
That is what Hennessey was attempting: He dissuaded people from voting by giving them inaccurate, false claims about voting hours, and casting a candidate in a bad light, accusing her of giving out bad information.
“Polls are not open at 7 am; we don’t let anyone in until 8 am. LMFAO,” Hennessey wrote on Henslee’s Facebook page. He was criticizing a Henslee campaign flyer, which let voters know that polls on Tuesday will open at 7 am.
“Nope instructions from the boss are such: We need to report to work about 7 AM Tuesday morning – to set up voting machines before polls open at 8 AM,” Henessey wrote, referring to his boss at the Division of Elections. This was Henessey speaking on an official capacity as an election worker, not in a citizen capacity.
His disinformation can be classified as voter suppression. Hennessey may have committed a federal crime.
Henslee responded politely to the man, saying, “Thanks Donald, but I’ll go with the information on the official Division of Election website. Polls have always been open early (7am) during general elections.” Henslee’s campaign manager also responded that she’ll go with the official website notice.
Must Read Alaska checked again and found that polling places will indeed be open at 7 am on Tuesday.
But that wasn’t the only offense made by the partisan election worker. After identifying himself as an election worker, he got nasty with the Henslee volunteers, and wrote on Henslee’s Facebook page that she was “blowing wind out of your buttocks.”
“I’m still LMFAO at Kathy Henslee she is quackery,” Hennessey also wrote on Henslee’s campaign page.
Not only was this election worker suppressing the vote by giving voters wrong information, he was then showing bias against a campaign for someone in his own district. Hennessey lives in House District 13, where Henslee is facing Democrat Rep. Andy Josephson, who Hennessey actively supports, according to his yard signs:
Two hours after Henslee volunteers sent the screen shots of the insults and voter suppression attempts to Division of Elections Director Gail Fenumiai, the social media posts suddenly disappeared. But Must Read Alaska has the screen shots. All of them. A couple of examples:
Hennessey is a repeat offender. A political activist when he is not employed as a teacher in the Anchorage School District, Hennessey was on social media during the municipal election in 2021 and insulted now-Mayor Dave Bronson and volunteers in several instances that were so notable that when he showed up again as a social media troll in in the District 13 race this year, Kathy Henslee volunteers spotted him immediately.
Photo above: Screen shot of Donald Hennessey’s Twitter profile photo.