Anchorage Assembly prepares to greatly limit observer access to ballot-counting facility

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The Anchorage Assembly is considering an ordinance change that drastically limits the ability of the election observers to witness what is going on inside the ballot-counting facility at Ship Creek during the ballot sorting and counting process.

The item, a rewrite of Title 28 of Municipal Code, is the subject of a public hearing; the meeting begins at 5 pm at the Loussac Library ground floor Assembly Chambers.

During the most recent election, the campaign of Mayor Bronson was vigilant with election observers, and also had someone posted outside the ballot-counting facility 24 hours a day to guard against fraud. Observers documented various incident that appeared irregular, including the mysterious setting off of a fire alarm during vote counting, which required clearing the building of all present. Municipal Clerk Barbara Jones became visibly agitated with the Bronson observers inside and outside the facility, and this proposed ordinance was prepared by her office and addresses her concerns with campaigns that are hyper-vigilant.

Jones has recommended significant changes to Title 28 of Municipal elections, which the liberal Assembly is likely to pass:

  • Observers for candidates are reduced from four to just one per candidate inside the voting center.
  • The Clerk’s Office can disallow an observer if she believes the observer doesn’t have the capacity for the task.
  • Campaigns must submit the names of the observers at least 22 days before the election, a rule so restrictive that only unions may be able to find observers and register them in time. Most campaigns find observers after the election is over, as these are typically volunteer efforts and the citizens are working people.
  • The Clerk’s Office can remove anyone at any time for any violation of her rules, which she has discretion to change.
  • Observers may not photograph, video record, or audio record any activity inside the voting center. No cameras, no sound recording devices may be used by volunteer observers.
  • Campaign staff or volunteer may not assist anyone in voting. This means that campaigns can no longer help people “cure” their ballots if their ballots have been rejected by the Clerk. It does not appear to apply to ballot harvesting, or the efforts of campaigns to send out paid or volunteer campaign emissaries to collect voted ballots from people and turn them into voting centers.
  • Observers must observe rules in the observer handbook, and the handbook may be changed at any time by the Clerk.

After the recent municipal election, the clerk issued a scorching report, in which it was clear she did not appreciate the intensity of observers from the Bronson campaign.

But the observers were able to document events, such as when Assemblyman Chris Constant, who was working on the Forrest Dunbar for Mayor campaign, delivered a huge bouquet of flowers to the clerk — while the vote counting was still underway. The flowers appeared to be an inappropriate gesture from one of the sides of the election.

“Although it may be legal to photograph people and cars in public areas, the intensity and tone appeared to be geared towards intimidating officials rather than serving a legitimate purpose,” Jones said in her report to the Assembly.

“It was apparent from the behavior and questions … that a number of observers had not been trained by their campaign, many had not read the manual, and many did not have any understanding of the processes at the Election Center,” Jones’ report said.

Citizen observers of the last election noted that after observers were told that business had concluded for the day, election workers remained in the building, working unobserved. This was documented by photographs taken from outside the building, after the observers had been removed.

In another instance, the building security was questioned after a campaign observer noted and documented a person opening the exterior door to the ballot counting facility late at night — the door had been left unsecured.

Observers also noted that while observers from Democrat candidates did not remain in the building as long as those from Republican candidates, they always showed up right before counting began, an indication that their campaigns were being given special courtesy notifications from the Clerk’s Office.

94 COMMENTS

  1. And they claim to stand for democracy. By any means necessary… they lie cheat and steal right in the open.

    • Why isn’t she fired and why aren’t these violators of election integrity indicted. No way do they want honest elections

      • She/he/it should have been fired years ago. She/he/it or whatever, needs to go, especially when this individual has a credibility problem with upholding election integrity. Now who’s going to fire she/he/it? The current assembly? Snort!

        • If the assembly is the only thing that can fire her, we have a real problem of text book despotism. They like her because she assures they win and she likes them because she doesn’t have to worry about being held accountable while they fawn over each other. The people might change, but the ruling group never will. The only way out of this is for us to sue. And I don’t know the first thing about about getting that off the ground. We need to pursue it before the election starts.

  2. There is 24/7 video on the ballot counting which provides a better view than being on-site. Many of the on-site observers were disruptive. Much ado about nothing which has been the Mantra for the 2020 losers

    • In denial? Sorry. I’m sorry that you don’t seem to think voting integrity and accuracy is important. I was one of the on-site observers and nobody was disruptive while I was there. Some of the people working the count were polite and helpful. Others were far ruder than any of us ever were. If they have nothing to hide and everything is on the up and up, what’s the issue with watching?

    • Video feeds have been known to fail suddenly, and curiously always at EXACTLY the right time. If video feeds were 100% super reliable, Jeffrey Epstein would still be alive today.

    • Frank, that is just more shallow and pathetically laughable apologies for official corruption and abuse of power, as usual for all you hyper-partisan radical leftist hacks. ANYTHING — lying, cheating, gaslighting the public, manipulation and violation of rules and laws — to gain and control power is fair game for people like you, as long as it benefits “your side”.
      How utterly contemptible.

      • Jefferson: you share two traits with trump: overstatement and projection. The first weakens your claims and the second should embarrass you.

        • Evan, you share two traits with every other dishonest and disingenuous radical leftist: denial of reality and REAL psychological projection. The first discredits anything you have to say here, the second is just to be assumed with people like you, as contemptible as it is.

        • Man, Ms. Evelyn you are certainly a troll and most certainly lacking any sense of logic. You seem to consistently use emotional ‘talking point’s to attack others stances and think that makes you…? superior? Man, stupidity, arrogance and ignorance are the three foundations of all leftist beliefs.

    • Which worked just fine until the timely power outage……
      Yes doubter, this actually happened followed by the feed mysteriously not coming back on for hours.
      As Author Glen Cook said: “Every ounce of cynicism is supported by historical precedent”.

    • right because video never goes missing. if it were republicans pushing this it would be instantly labeled as racist and oppressive.

    • Sure, a few dodgy HD webcams with plenty of blind-spots. You know Frank, if you guys where at all genuine, you would want all ballot stations to consult with the same security contractors who wire your average casino down south where security monitoring is done properly! Fact of the matter Frank, none of you want this done properly lest honestly.

    • “24/7 video that’s better than observers“ like the grainy footage that’s given to opposition while H/D is retained for the “ special people “( that is if it isn’t totally erased…. Due to a glitch)😉
      “Disruptive “ as in not being an obedient paid off sheep and actually doing a service on a volunteer basis because they care for our citizens.

    • You say “ disruptive “
      It’s called democracy
      Free and fair elections are required
      With all the shenanigans from past elections now they want to limit observers , etc

      Democrats are openly flouting our rule of law and will do WHATEVER it takes to remain on power

    • They turn the cameras off when they “leave” for the night.

      And no security guards to guard the building through the night, or weekends.

      This is why the Bronson campaign put their own surveillance in place outside the ship creek location.

    • Couldn’t make a statement without throwing in an insult at the end huh?
      Why so salty?
      You realize that “your guy” winning is not a win for the American people right?
      You sports fans are a strange lot.

  3. Why even bother with holding elections?

    The politburo will determine who wins before the first ballot is “cast”. Bolsheviks don’t hold elections. They hold beauty pageants.

    And tell me again Anchorage is a conservative town.

  4. This is not because we were a hindrance although I’m sure we were because they weren’t used to us being there. This is because we prevented them from cheating. And now they’re trying to stop us from stopping them.

    Some of them were incredibly rude and unpleasant but some were quite nice and patient. This can’t be allowed to stand. Action time.

    • Barbara Jones needs to go. Her actions, emotions, and behavior are way too partisan for that position. I thought she was already caught passing confidential information to the assembly. Bronson can fire her I thought. I mean, just document what she has done and just fire her. Of course the lefties will call it fascist or something while they do things that are way more partisan and tyrannical without batting an eye. Ya can’t appease them. He just needs grounds for dismal according to the courts and just do it, right? I don’t know Anchorage policies that well. I am asking sincerely cause she needs to go.

  5. With observation rules as described in the article, the Clerk has total control over his fiefdom. Something I’m sure the Clerk would enjoy, but that observers are there to discourage and avoid. Let’s go back to precinct voting, AND counting. Decentralize and localize that which is so important to us.

  6. Voter suppression. Barbara Jones needs to go. This election we should flood the ballot counting area as is our right.

    • Steven: it isn’t actually your RIGHT to flood the counting area. If there were a flood of liberals looking over your voting shoulder, you’d be pissed and claiming tyranny or communism or Neo-Marxism and pledging to fight to the death.

  7. They are literally codifying the election stealing process. It’s obvious she doesn’t like her work being observed even though she is a Public Servant doing public work.

  8. Jones should not be clerk. If she cannot handle the job please step aside. There is good reason for citizens to be very wary of the whole process and she should be do all she can to work with observers in an effort to make sure the vote counting is honest and to give all voters peace of mind. If she is concerned the observers are not adequately trained then require a training session to insure understanding of the handbook. To pout and demand, and then attempt more apparent coverup, does not bode well for an official of her position.

  9. First illegally closed meetings. Now the Marxists want to virtually close ballot counts? What’s wrong with these POSes?

    • Caterina: which meetings were closed illegally? “[V]irtually close ballot counts”? That doesn’t even make sense.

      • You must have gone to government schools and a state college to become so simple. I don’t think you’re smart enough to realize that virtual (ly) and literal(ly) are badly misused by our semi-literate society, but virtually has come to mean something like “close to” or “something like.” So, accepting that colloquial usage, they do want to do something like close the ballot counts. Wonder why?

  10. This is an incredibly corrupt power grab by the municipal clerk. The clerk’s position and work require a politically unbiased employee who is answerable to the people. Having served as a city clerk, I know first-hand that there is always political pressure applied to the clerk and the under-appreciated occupant of the position needs to take a chill. IF they are doing their jobs, the clerk and the ballot counters should fear no scrutiny. The observers must not intimidate either. This ordinance looks like the last gasp of a dying and corrupt assembly and clerk. Take back your city, Anchorage – they will pass it, then sue them. Voting, and ballot counting, must be completely transparent.

    • Why isn’t Barbara ousted? She has demonstrated many times her partisan bias through emotions, behavior and now with this bad policy, which is bad policy regardless who is the clerk. And she has shared confidential mayor information to the assembly. That’s a blatant violation of her position. Who can get rid of her? Is it just the assembly? If so, that’s messed up,. and ya the assembly should be sued. I’ll donate what I can to that cause if someone has the means to start it. Don’t get me confused with a big doner though. I’m just some average Joe willing to to contribute. I’m sure there are many others. This needs to start now before the elections. If Bronson can get rid of her, what is he waiting for?

    • You realize, I’m sure, that you’ve opened up yourself to questions. Like: do you question the 2020 election, ivermectin, vaccines, Muslims are dangerous, the Bible?

  11. In some ways I can wait for the return of Jesus and some ways I can’t wait for His return when I am utterly worn-out from seeing all of you and our ways like this callous attempt removing observers or limiting observers for another political party’s benefit. If that catastrophic life changing second coming returns in my lifetime like Jewish Christian and Christian biblical scholars are predicting. its my prayer I am not left behind with all of you. I barely could handle seeing most of my neighbors around Anchorage hardening their hearts toward one another all over who is and isn’t wearing a mask that the hardened hearts and increased fears began April 2020. I don’t want to see what happens when there is no restraint. If anything that those last two weeks of public contentious actions, during the mask mandate hearings, accomplished is the courageous rebel just hardened these leaders hearts harder agianst those they disagree. Now they want the opposition within Anchorage to suffer.

      • Evan,
        Sounds like more projecting onto others your own inclinations. It is possible to criticize others without being nasty. Your referring to critical thinkers as anti-intellectuals is ludicrous.

        • Like other lefties, he thinks that anybody who doesn’t agree with lefty stupidity is “anti-intellectual.”

        • Glenn Fosterman: you’re right; my comment, while true, was, as you say, nasty. I don’t need to be nasty to advance my point.

          I will stand by my point, though, that most of the anti-mask speakers at the assembly meetings had adopted and vociferously promoted positions opposite of well supported scientific medical evidence. I do not think they were “critical thinkers”. I think they were anti-intellectual activists.

          • Evan, you make the grossly ignorant and simplistic mistake, so common among conformists and lemmings like you, of confusing official (and officious) propaganda with the actual, honest science that you do not even begin to grasp or understand. You are like a gullible and naive child in your blind faith in corrupt and self-serving authority. No, not just gullible and naive: profoundly irrational if not actually insane.

  12. Until the recording “mysteriously stops” for some reason. These proposals are a blatant grab for controlling the election. Why would you want these rules if you have nothing to hide. I hope the Anchorage voters and Mr. Bronson don’t allow it.

    • Responding to Jefferson here since the format of MRAK commenting is flawed. Jefferson: I’ve said this before to you and even though it’s good advice, it’s coming from Evan S Singh who you would probably shoot if you met me: your exaggeration weakens your argument.

      You could have said something banal like I don’t understand the science and, by the way, here’s a helpful link. But no, here come the eye-roll words: gullible, naive, child, blind faith, grossly ignorant, simplistic, conformist, lemming and irrational. All in one post!

      I do picture you as an extremely angry man seething over a keyboard within a compound of security lights and cameras, concertina wire, stockpiles of weapons and from your cell you extol the goodness of Freedom.

      • An accurate psychological profile, I would say (although I’d also toss in a dash of a Messiah complex). Mr. Singh, you’re not a psychologist, are you?

      • Evan, again you simply parade your own ignorance here, as well as your elitist arrogance.
        .
        The fact is, I DO understand the science surrounding this (mild) pandemic, and more importantly, the innumerable abuses and contradictions of that science, and of the statistics pertaining to it, that the power establishment has engaged in in order to push their Orwellian control agenda using the pandemic as their rationalization for it.
        .
        Every time that I, or others here, attempt to call out their half-truths, lies and REAL and obvious political agenda, you ignorantly and dishonestly try to call it “exaggeration”. Well, that is nothing but just part of your apologies and support for what they are doing.

      • Wow you are AMAZINGLY INSECURE. Toxic as well. Compensating for what though? Its definitely due to feelings of being inadequate. Its funny how you attempt to sound intelligent and fail, each and every time. Its like watching a child with special needs learn to tie their shoes and consistently fail. Sad but somewhat noble. The special needs child, however, is focusing on a task and not insulting others.

  13. Every counting station need multiple observers that aren’t corralled under the guise of Covid to be positioned out of view of the counting process.
    Body cameras on everyone, with audio recording. Money well spent ……. Unless you’re on the side of “ voter turnout “😉
    I want the same rules for each side and a FAIR HONEST election for all. Why can’t the non-right side do and want the same.

  14. Hey Anchorage……

    You elected this so enjoy it.
    For a long, long time.
    Because you’ve let it get so far there’s no point in trying to vote it out.
    Ask yourself if there’s any point in voting when you believe your vote won’t count.

    I believe the chance to restore good government was thrown away.

    Challenge: Prove me wrong.

  15. The Clerk is clearly getting too much power here.

    If handicapped people are not allowed assistance in voting, then that is voter suppression.

    Why would counting ballots not be on camera the entire time?

    If we don’t have observers for the counting, then the counting should not be considered legitimate.

    And I am trained in Anchorage elections. Many times, there weren’t enough people stepping up to work elections. This could be a problem for observers if the Clerk decides they “don’t have the capacity” for whatever reason. Plenty of newly trained election workers still forgot some of the rules in the manual.

    Things need to be kept simple and above-board on elections.

  16. The clerk should be fired, the assembly should be held to task according to the rules, not allowed to make up their own. Good Grief!!!

    • GOP and non Bolshevik citizens: learn from the last Presidential election. The time to challenge this (if you bother to) is NOW, not after or even during the next election

  17. We must bring back in person voting with paper ballots and voter ID with signatures in Anchorage. Let’s audit the voting machines to make sure they are not rigged. By the way, it costs far less to administer in person paper ballots and we will have the results almost immediately. This reduces the efforts for observers as the volunteers process the paper ballots at each voting precinct, which reduces the ability to manipulate ballots. It also reduces the opportunity for ballot harvesting. Etc. etc. etc. Anchorage went radical when they started mail in ballots. Nothing to hide then lets DO THE RIGHT THING and return to in person voting with voter ID. This is how elections should ALWAYS be ran. Total transparency. No risk of showing up to vote and being told that you already voted.

  18. Remember when democrats complained of voter suppression when a police car came within a couple of blocks of a polling location? We were supposed to take that claim seriously. With national concern about election integrity, you would hope that liberals would want more transparency throughout the election process. Now we see the the arrogance of the Anchorage Assembly in their efforts to reduce this election transparency. No surprise there.

    When will the people of Anchorage stop electing such fools to represent then on their Assembly?

  19. Where is our Lt Governor whose job is to ensure election integrity? C’mon man, time to put on your big boy pants!

  20. Seems overtly nefarious. When it passes, who is taking this to court? When it passes, will the presumptive replacement repub assembly remove or revoke this poor governance?

  21. The Founders were brilliant in producing a U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights where the citizens would be a thorn in the side of an overbearing government.

  22. How do they (she) determine capacity for the task? Is there a definable criteria or standard? (The Clerk’s Office can disallow an observer if she believes the observer doesn’t have the capacity for the task). She can remove anyone at anytime for any violation of her rules which she has the descretion to change. This clearly puts too much power in one person’s hands. If you are not doing anything wrong, then what do you have to hide? Barbara Jones said that she thought it was ridiculous that she had to tell an observer they could not use binoculars – it is ridiculous that an observer would be at such a distance to need binoculars to observe. This is a complete power grab and if it goes through, election integrity will go right with it. She may be in charge of elections but she is not “Queen of the Elections”.

    • You are exactly correct (for once), Whidbey.
      Although in retrospect, you are probably referring to the wrong party, and to the wrongdoing party, here (that being the corrupt and petty tyrant Bab Jones), in your typical inversion of reality.

    • Dog: yeah, can you imagine the mayhem if there was no limit to ballot counting observers and the same spitter testifiers from the Anchorage Assembly came to “observe”?

          • Why not? Because guns destabilize a situation and can cause irreparable damage in a millisecond. Just ask Kyle Rittenhouse or Travis McMichael. They brought guns to the fight. Now they are sorry for it and will live with a lifetime of regret.

            So put away your Armed Citizen dreams before you suffer the same sorry fate.

        • Keep going with this tactic of believing the disingenuous that lie and speak in hyperbole in order to garner your support to vilify people that just want to make sure they can trust the elections, and your predictions will come true.
          _
          What is the quote the left loves to bring up whenever they insight riots “violence is the voice of the unheard”? Or is that a one way road? Typically is with the self righteous on the left who never bother to self reflect and act with integrity.

          What is the harm in just letting people watch as they conduct the elections ethically by the book and make sure the deck is cut before it’s delt because there are rumors of cheating? This isn’t a game of poker we are talking about. This is about maintaining a civil and just society in a diverse community and there is nothing civil or just about ignoring people that can’t trust the obviously very partisan and very motivated Barbara Jones. You want to talk about “destabilizing” a situation while you keep going with this very partisan line rhetoric that uses blind ego driven arrogance and groupthink as some sort of indicator of truth, and in reality all it is shallow smug disingenuous bs that will obviously antagonize those that oppose your club which allows you to play the victim and lie to yourself again and again as you aggravate.

  23. Barb’s Hide and Seek

    Your job is to count
    No matter the amount
    We need clarity
    Vote-watcher parity
    Your tactics we will surmount

  24. Absolutely NOT. Any citizen should have the right to observe and DOCUMENT any part of the electoral process if they choose to do so. Complete transparency is the only way to ensure public confidence in the process. That transparency goes far beyond elections. This assembly must be replaced.

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