More double ballots handed out? It looks that way in Chefornak

Chefornak / Lovina Tunuchuk, flickr
Chefornak / Lovina Tunuchuk, flickr
Chefornak / Lovina Tunuchuk, flickr


On Primary Election Day, Aug. 16, the people in Shungnak were given two ballots to vote on — a Republican ballot and an “everyone else” ballot, which for this story we refer to as the Democrat ballot.

This mass voting mistake or intentional fraud has been acknowledged by the Division of Elections.

By state law, people don’t get to vote more than one ballot.

And yet that was not the only strange result on Aug. 16.

In Chefornak, District 38, it appears that voters also were given two ballots, but only allowed to vote one of them. If you give everyone two ballots, how do you know that Democrats didn’t vote the Republican ballot?

In Chefornak, the turnout was 204 voters. Exactly 16 voted for the U.S. Senate seat on the Republican ballot. Exactly 86 voted for one candidate or another on the Democrat ballot, for a total of 102.

Turning to the U.S. House of Representative race, once again we see 16 voted on the Republican ballot, and 86 voted on the Democrat ballot, for a total of 102 votes.

Dropping down to the contested Alaska House seat, where Zach Fansler was challenging Rep. Bob Herron, a total of 86 voted the Democrat ballot and there was nothing on the Republican ballot for this race.

But 204 cards cast is exactly twice the number of people who voted. A question for the Division of Elections is since they only counted 102 of the votes in Chefornak, how did they decide which ballots to count?

Statistically, everyone doesn’t vote every line in every race, but in Chefornak, they do. This is an anomaly. Could it be that someone sorted through the ballots, or are Chefornak voters more fastidious about voting?

BETHEL: There were 850 cards cast, and 85 voted the Republican ballot, while 765 took the Democratic ballot.

But of the 765 who took the Democrats’ ballot, 107 of them didn’t vote for anyone. Evidently, they are not as fastidious as Chefornak voters. They just filed an empty ballot.

Why would 107 people, one out of seven voters, bother to go to the polls and then proceed to not pick anyone at all?

QUINHAGAK: It’s the second largest precinct after Bethel’s two precincts. This village had an 11 percent turnout. It’s the lowest turnout in the District. Why did Quinhagak not vote? Hint: Herron carried that town two-to-one.


There are strange results all over District 38: 100 percent of the people who voted in Chefornak voted in 100 percent of the races. In Bethel, one out of seven voters went to all the trouble of showing up, getting a ballot, and then didn’t vote for anyone at all. And in Quinhagak, 89 percent of the voters did not show up, but those who did went for Herron.