Democrats' press release defends illegal voting - Must Read Alaska
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Sunday, September 19, 2021
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Democrats’ press release defends illegal voting

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DEMOCRATIC PARTY CHAIR BRINGS PUBLIC RADIO FUNDING GRIEVANCES INTO THE MIX

The Alaska Democratic Party issued the following statement today in support of the recent, widespread voting irregularities identified in District 40:

Democrats to AK GOP: Stop Meddling in Our Primary 

Republicans seek to silence an entire community of rural Alaskans in Democratic Primary

ANCHORAGE: Alaska Democratic Party Chair Casey Steinau today released the following statement in response to Republican Party Chairman Tuckerman Babcock’s call for the State to invalidate the Democratic Primary election results for the HD 40 state representative.

“The Republican Party has taken inappropriate, though not unprecedented action, to stifle the voices of another rural Alaskan community. Republican Party Chairman Tuckerman Babcock has taken it upon himself to advocate for the dismissal of all votes from Shungnak in District 40. This attempt to meddle in a Democratic Primary and silence rural Alaska is a blatant overstep by Republican leadership, designed to undermine a result they don’t like.

After arguing to defund rural public radio, threatening to shut down rural schools, and ignoring rural infrastructure needs, the Republican Party is once again disregarding the needs and voices of rural Alaskans.

“If the Republican Party wanted to have a candidate appear on the November ballot, then their candidate should have run as a Republican.

“It is unnecessary to invalidate the election or have another vote, as Republicans are advocating, because errors that have been identified didn’t change the outcome in any race.  

“The people of District 40 have spoken and we must respect that. If Mr. Babcock succeeds in undermining their voice, that would be the real failure of this election.”

The Alaska Democratic Party today sent the attached letter to the Director of the Division of Elections.

REPUBLICAN RESPONSE

AK-GOP amazed that Democrats support illegal election

Anchorage, Alaska – In response to a request by the Alaska Democratic Party to certify an illegal election in District 40, Alaska Republican Party Chairman Tuckerman Babcock issued this statement:

“The Democratic machine in Anchorage has stooped to a new low by calling the primary a ‘Democratic Primary.’ It’s very clear that the ADL ballot is an open ballot, available for all voters to use if they so choose. That ballot is open to Republicans, Libertarians, and undeclared voters. That is what the Democrats publicly claim they want.

“The Division of Elections has admitted that voters in District 40 were allowed to vote two ballots in violation of Alaska law. The Republican ballot is a closed ballot, not available to members of other organized parties, but only to Republicans, nonpartisans, and undeclared voters.

“We believe all voters in rural Alaska should be able to vote in a legal election,” Babcock said. “And we have provided the Division of Elections with appropriate remedies for solving the problems that the Division created when it allowed illegal voting to occur.”

“Not only in Shungnak, but in the Barrow precincts as well, the process was so flawed that no one knows how the people really voted.  Casey Steinau’s assertion that the vote outcome would have been no different if people had been allowed to vote legally is just baseless guessing,” Babcock said.

“Steinau says the people of District 40 have spoken. Well, the voters tried, but the Division of Elections messed up.  Many voters were confused, told they could not vote when the law said they could, and even voted twice when they should have voted once.

“It’s stunning that the chair of the Democratic Party would want her favored candidate to win so badly that she openly endorses illegal voting,” Babcock said.

ELECTION TO BE CERTIFIED FRIDAY?

As dueling press releases and letters fly, the State Election Review Board and the Division of Elections may certify the election on Friday, or possibly Tuesday, owing to the three-day Labor Day weekend. That action may draw one or more lawsuits.

The Alaska Republican Party has asked for a new election in District 40 and has outlined in a letter to Division of Elections Director Josie Bahnke how to remedy the situation. Candidate Ben Nageak has secured an attorney to assist him in determining what laws were broken and which voters were denied their constitutional rights.

Ben Nageak, as an Alaska Native, is on the verge of losing his seat in the House of Representatives, under questionable circumstances. That raises federal questions of violations of the Voting Rights Act.

It would be ironic if the lieutenant governor, whose sole job is to oversee elections and who has been noticeably absent and unresponsive since Election Day, all of a sudden demands that the Election be certified, even though both he and the Division of Elections has admitted to serious procedural problems.

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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.

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