For Anchorage election workers, this month’s mayoral runoff was like no other, according to the Washington Post.
That much is true, but not informative: All election runoffs in Anchorage are unlike any other runoffs, but with the new all-mail-in election, this was the first mayoral runoff Anchorage has had under the new system.
This runoff stood alone in many respects, not the least of which that it appeared to be a close election. It deserved scrutiny, at least in the eyes of conservatives, many of whom are now less accepting that election centers around the country are being run fairly.
Also, since the mail-in elections started in 2018, there was an active campaign watching the ballot-counting process. It was more than apparent that Anchorage Municipal Clerk Barbara Jones didn’t like the scrutiny. She became more and more agitated as the days went by. Some days, observers said she was on the verge of “losing it.”
She told the Anchorage Assembly in her election report last week that her workers were accosted in the parking lot, when in fact, they were observed at the Election Office hours after they had told Bronson campaign volunteers they were done for the night, that they were going home. Bronson volunteers asked them what they were still doing there, after they had stated they were done for the night. This, according to Jones, is accosting.
The Washington Post reported that talk radio and blogs (really?) reported blank ballots being “smuggled into the Election Center, which Jones described as part of an effort to “sow distrust among voters.”
The reporter from the Washington Post was willing to allow these allegations to go unchallenged. The reporter’s call to the Bronson campaign came at
8 9 pm Alaska Time, the night before the Post published the story at 1 am. The Bronson campaign was not able to respond in time, but such are the techniques of fake news.
Jones’ and the Washington Post‘s parroting story is inaccurate: No one ever said the ballots were “smuggled in.” No blog has suggested that. No news agency ever suggested that.
In photos, Must Read Alaska showed they were brought in during broad daylight, and that caught the eye of Bronson elections observers who wanted to know, understandably, why boxes of blank ballots were arriving in the Election Center where marked ballots were being counted.
Read: What? Blank ballots hauled into Anchorage ballot counting center
In fact, Must Read Alaska wrote, “In what may be seen as an act of transparency or sheer cluelessness, election workers unloaded 50 boxes of blank ballots at the Anchorage Election Office on Friday, and stacked the boxes in one of the spacious rooms. In broad daylight, while counting is underway in the mayor’s runoff election.”
The Washington Post’s fake news machine interprets this as MRAK stating the ballots were “smuggled in.”
The boxes of blank ballots created a reasonable concern for observers, because this procedure was something never seen before by the public. Yet Jones acted as if this was an outrageous degree of curiosity.
It soon became clear to the Bronson campaign that the Election Office had not only blank ballots, blank envelopes but the ability to print bar codes on them — everything it would take to sway an election, and all in the same place where marked ballots were arriving. What could possibly go wrong?
It deserved an explanation, one that should have been offered to the campaigns in advance.
The Post also didn’t report that Jones had never faced any scrutiny before and thus was not emotionally prepared to handle it, nor did she have a good system in place to respond to challenges, many of which she has described as outrageous.
For example, when thermal totes filled with pizza boxes arrived at the Election Office, one Bronson volunteer asked to look inside, just to make sure those were pizzas in those big totes. Call it outrageous, but after the 2020 General Election, volunteers can’t take anything at face value.
The ramped-up scrutiny began when Jone and her staff failed to lock the door of the Election Center on election night. A citizen rolled through the parking lot and recorded a woman, after 11 pm, opening the door of the ballot counting building, because it had been left unlocked. Must Read Alaska posted the video. None of this is reported by the Post.
The next day, the Bronson campaign parked an RV outside the building and kept it staffed 24 hours a day with wide awake volunteers taking shifts to provide some sense of oversight to what was looking like a loose operation.
Jones also reported to the Assembly last week that observers were openly hostile to her. Losing candidate Forrest Dunbar reported to the Washington Post that those hostile observers were from the Bronson campaign, and the Washington Post ran with that as the truth. The sour-grapes candidate and the offended election clerk were the echo chamber corroboration for the fake news machine.
The Post reporter had not seen how collegial and “jokey” the Elections personnel were with surrogates of the Dunbar campaign, and how the Dunbar campaign had sent her flowers in the middle of the counting process. Those flowers came from Assemblyman Chris Constant, who was there on behalf of the Dunbar campaign daily.
The Post didn’t write about how a fire alarm went off moments after Constant had signed out of the building one day, and the building was evacuated for the false alarm. The Post didn’t report that the Fire Department union had endorsed Dunbar.
As both Assemblymen Constant and Dunbar are her employers, Jones is beholden to them and the other liberal members of the Assembly who had endorsed Dunbar. They can fire her at any time.
The Post did not report that the Dunbar election observers would appear just moments before the Clerk would announce the staff was going to do ballot adjudication, which gave Bronson volunteers the distinct impression that the Clerk had texted the Dunbar camp to let them know they should come over. An enterprising reporter should file a public records request for text messages sent between personnel at the Election Office and Constant and Dunbar and his campaign workers.
(Note to Jones and the Election Office in Anchorage: Did you destroy those text messages already? There are screenshots.)
What the Post did not know about was the open disdain that the election workers showed toward the volunteers from the Bronson Campaign.
Nor did the Post report on the ageism displayed by Jones as she told the Bronson campaign manager that, due to his age (all of 21) he could only speak when spoken to by his elders, including her. When he asked questions, she shouted at him and directed him to shut up. There is a recording of her bullying him.
What the Post doesn’t know is that the things Jones said was recorded by witnesses. What the Post doesn’t know is that Must Read Alaska has heard the recordings of her wild ranting and insulting of the Bronson campaign.
The Post doesn’t know that the attorney hired by the Municipal Clerk to oversee and consult on the the elections is the same attorney who has a separate contract with the company that runs the Dominion voting machines for Anchorage.
But Jones got the last word in the mainstream media, attacking the Bronson campaign volunteers with a vengeance. As with other stories placed in The Washington Post by leftists, this one was poorly reported and told but one side.
Jones released a report to the Assembly in which she complained loudly about the intensity of the volunteer observers, and how they were intentionally harassing her and her workforce.
She wrote the report not knowing that everything she said to Bronson volunteers is recorded, and that the campaign has been incredibly kind to her by not releasing the tapes to the media.
Read Barbara Jones’ report to the Assembly complaining about Bronson volunteer observers
Release the tapes then fire her. Sunlight cures many of the worst maladies, and corruption leads to destruction of all good governance. Progressives fear transparency such as they fear honest elections. To maintain our way of life we must have fairness and honesty in all aspects of governance lest we descend further into open anarchy, which few other than the radicals (BLM, ANTIFA), want. If there are any questions, study the French Revolution.
They hate scrutiny, observers, and transparency, then wonder why people question the results and start hurling insults saying we’re a threat to democracy.
Democrats, we’re never going to let you steal elections again. You got away with it in 2020, and we are all suffering for it. It will never happen again.
Agreed. Release all the recorded material. Let’s get it all out. Sunlight is a great disinfectant. The Left is never polite.
Oh – the blank ballot episode has never been explained.
JMARK – the blank ballots were to be used by election workers to manually fill out ballots for those who had voted via email, the most insecure form of voting and the most prone to fraud. Since each email ballot had to be tied to a physical ballot, the workers would go to the box that had the precinct ballot for the email vote, and pull a ballot. They would vote the ballot and print a bar code on that ballot. It is an absolutely insecure system because they have hundreds of ballots and the ability to print bar codes on them, and the cameras are not on them 24-hours a day. Twice during the voting process, election workers took home keys to the building at the end of their shifts. – sd
If I were Jones, I would be preparing my resume and sending it out to laces like Washington, Oregon ,California and the east coast!!
Release the recordings and release the transcripts. Barbara Jones must go. Sadly, the Muni’s employment rolls are filled with left-leaning union members who are technically competent but completely unable to grasp the content of locking away their political beliefs and acting in the best interests of the public and ensuring credibility and confidence in the public election ballot counting process.
This harkens back to the 1980s when boxes of ballots were found on a bookcase shelf. I don’t remember what happened to that clerk.
Enough!! Release the tapes, texts, whatever there is.
Also forward copies to Kevin Meyer, he IS in charge of elections in this state.
Playing the victim to distract from what you are doing, is the age-old modus operandi of the left. It is time to expose their actions!
We need trust our systems are fair and honest and Mrs. Jones has clearly proven that she can not hold up to the scrutiny necessary. Let the light shine and the chips fall were they may.
A good test question might be “would you buy a used car from Barbara Jones??”…I expect the answer from just about everyone would be NO….
The Proverb teaches: “The taking of offense is what rests in the bosom of the stupid one”. So very true. The “publics” had been firmly cast out early in the respiratory ailment processes. The quieted dormer and dais of power are still taken aback by the mere robust return of the public’s observers and the unwelcome publics to the expedited processes of the dark of the nights. The spell is over. Thank you energetic reviewers.
Mail in ballots were no problem when we were the only ones using them…..
Great reporting, Suzanne! Thank you!
Pray Anchorage hires more kind hearted city hall employees when those current employees who retire or quit get replaced by more kind hearted professional individuals who will probably smile more at their co workers and public while talking more kind to one another during conflicts and corrections. You can always tell who is truly kind by how they resolve their conflicts and accept corrections.
No email ballots should ever be allowed. That would solve this apparent need to have blank ballot boxes in the counting premises. There should never be blank ballots in the counting premises. Each ballot should be counted by 3 persons continuously until all three agree. Thank you Suzanne Downing for being so alert.
Release the tapes to the public and Bronson’s new city attorney…this is information that should not be hidden from the public..this woman should never be allowed access to our elections again if this article is true.
Alaska’s election system need to be looked at and the last election audited no matter what the Lt. governor says. We need to be positive all legal votes are counted. Governor, you listening?
Shock- after stealing the presidential election the left is angry it could not steal this one.
Thank you Suzanne for your Journalistic report.on this matter. You give us the real story.
In my opinion, the Washington Post is nothing but narrative promotion. Someone writes a narrative and they all promote it.
My hope is that Mr. Bronson will appoint good, reasonable mature, people who can run this town like it needs to be run.
The only thing I miss about not reading the ADN ( as I cancelled my subscription) is that I used it to clean my windows. Your writing is factual and real journalism.
Disparaging Alaskan candidates and their supporters to an outside “news” entity is inappropriate and way out of line. Especially for a muni employee expected to be neutral and honorable in the election process, obviously neither is true..
Suzanne, you did yourself proud with this piece! Such fantastic reporting, presenting all the facts, digging out the insolence and obstruction that the biased the clerk and her minions exemplified. I only wish that we were able to have this caliber of reporting at the national level too. You are indeed a breath of fresh air in the otherwise stinking swamp called government! Now that Anchorage is complete, I hope you focus on the antics of the bunch in Juneau!
Lt Governor Kevin, The worst electoral abuse in Alaskan history continues to happen under your watch. Are you going to do anything? Or is doing nothing going to be your legacy?
Lt. Gov. Kevin Meyer oversees Alaska State Elections.
Borough and other local elections are managed with local authorities.
The blank ballot discussion above helps but leaves some loose ends. Both the Alaska State Elections and the Municipal Elections authorize the use of online/email ballots. Prior to that, fax ballots existed. The voter is notified that this process does not provide the same degree of voter privacy as a regular ballot does.
The voter requests an online ballot and returned a electronic version of a ballot. 209 voters submitted electronic run off election ballots. After these submittals were validated, two election workers print these
To create a proper precinct tally for the election, the electronic ballot must be facsimiled to the proper precinct ballot. Anchorage has 121 precincts; hence, 121 unique precinct ballot types. A pair of election workers build a facsimile ballot with one employee reading the printed ‘e ballot’ and the second employee making the same marks on the proper blank PRECINCT ballot. Each campaign is allowed to have an observer monitor the facsimile production operation. No ballot serial number is issued in the facsimile process.
Each ballot receives serial number when the facsimiled ballot is scanned to create the electronic image for tabulation or adjudication. The serial number allows the inspection of the original ballot during adjudication and recount operations.
Furthermore blank Precinct ballots are required to create facsimiles of ballots damaged by the voter, the postal service or other activities.
Good thing real Alaskans don’t give a spit what the Outside liberal media thinks,…or says about us.
fake news running amok!
Google is more transparent!
Mrs……Mrs. Jones…🎶.Mrs. Jones….. 🎶🎶Mrs. Jones… 🎵 you got a thing ……..going on…..it’s called election fraud……Mrs Jones. 🎶…….if you don’t like the scrutiny, go find another job, Mrs. Jones.🎵
The Dems tried to pull off another Georgia style election but got stopped in their tracks. Now they complain. Special thanks to all those election workers who stopped the Banana Republic antics and kept our election honest. I’m sure they’ll be scheming up new tactics but we’ve all gotten wiser.
Pretty good example of the left not enjoying playing under their new rules.
Dems spent 4 solid years caterwauling about 2016 being stolen from Hilly based on Trump collusion with Russia. So their solution was to actually steal 2020, which they did, after which any complaints from our side about election fraud is widely censored and ridiculed. Appears the Bonson people assumed the worst and positioned their supporters to make sure the worst didn’t happen.
Given that Barbara Jones is sitting on 3-4 recall petitions for Assembly members, what makes you think she won’t also move Heaven and earth to get Dunbar elected?
The problem with forcing new rules on an unwilling public is that they will choose to play by those new rules, which the left is not going to enjoy. Cheers –
Wow. The clerk certainly is behaving very unprofessional. The entire process seemed unprofessional as well, and it appears now the clerk has sour grapes as the ‘efforts’ (?) were thwarted. Her behavior may be a clue and makes me wonder how much involvement she may have had in outcomes of a couple or few past elections.
And sadly WaPo is no longer an honorable or reputable news source. Should get as much response or concern as National Enquirer.
Without Branson’s observers there, it would of gone the other way.
Plus with out mail-in voting it definitely would not of been this close.
Lots of ways to cheat with mail-in voting. This needs to be changed, the state does not not have, a state wide mail-in voting, It’s only Anchorage. Which I think with Bronson, it’s going to turn back Red from blue Anchorage.
Sounds typical of a far-left/progressive fish-wrapper like the Washington Post …
Randy, so Kevin’s excuse is not my job and everything is perfect at the state level so no leadership is necessary? What a cop out!
[…] we had Suzanne Downing in Must Read Alaska weighing in on the entire back and forth Saturday with an extended piece on multiple irregularities that the Bronson observers objected to and […]
I hope Bronson is aware of the altercation and takes steps to relieve her of her position.
Cal Refugee – She works for the Assembly. -sd
I found this post on June 3, 2021, wondering if anyone still believes that deep state dems attempt to steal elections. Wow, lots of people still believe it. How naive of me to think we had moved on.
From what I can tell, the article is about friction between an election worker and election observers. I hope this kind of friction is not the new normal, but maybe mistrust will outweigh cooperation, at least for a while longer.
I hope that, in spite of the friction, Alaskans believe this particular election came out ‘legit’ and not ‘stolen’ by somebody. (Which side won is not proof, but you knew this already, right?)
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