THROWS A FIT OVER VOLUNTEERS TRYING TO SEE BETTER
Another day, another drama at the Anchorage Election Office. Two volunteer observers for the ballot-watching process at Anchorage’s Election Office were kept so far from the ballot-counting process that they ended up bringing in binoculars so they could see what was going on this week.
That sent Municipal Clerk Barbara Jones over the edge: She sent note to both the Bronson campaign and the Dunbar campaign complaining about the observer, who was there on behalf of winning candidate Dave Bronson. The note was, obviously, pointed at the Bronson campaign:
“To all: I am astonished that I have to say this, but an observer was seen today using BINOCULARS to view computers in the Election Center. I am so shocked that the observer admittedly used binoculars without asking first if she could get closer to the computers. We have accommodated this observer and others all day today and yesterday — bringing chairs for two people from each campaign to review every single questioned ballot envelope and every single special needs ballot envelope … yet this overly intense and unnecessary scrutiny, without asking for information, does little to show a willingness to understand the process nor demonstrate the respect we have requested from the campaigns and observers for election official. I have informed this observer if she uses binoculars again the the Election Center, she will be removed permanently. Barbara”
There are no references in municipal code that prevent an observer from using a magnifying glass or binoculars to help them see. Jones has maintained physical distancing that makes it difficult for observers to be sure of what they are seeing.
Today, losing candidate Forrest Dunbar also swiped at the Bronson volunteers, calling them bizarre:
…”we have witnessed aggressive, confrontational, and frankly bizarre behavior from Bronson supporters and staff toward Election Center workers. Their actions have caused the Election Center to revoke observer access to members of the general public, ban at least one Bronson campaign observer from entering the Center, and needlessly consumed Election Center staff time responding to baseless challenges. Coupled with their allies on the Assembly and in the far-right media, the Bronson campaign is strangely casting doubt on the election that they themselves are winning,” Dunbar wrote, evidently not a fan of the Bronson campaign’s election vigilance.
The election counting was to finish today, with final results certified by the Assembly on Tuesday. As of the most recent number released by the clerk, it’s 45,889 votes for Bronson, and 44,698 votes for Dunbar, or 50.66 percent to 49.34 percent.