THE DIVISION OF NEGLECTIONS IS ‘WITH HER’
Voters in Alaska got a surprise when they opened up their Official Election Pamphlet this week. There was no information about the top of the Republican ticket: Donald Trump and Mike Pence.
There’s also no information on Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson.
Hillary Clinton, the Democrat however, is featured, along with her running mate Tim Kaine. So is Jill Stein of the Green Party, and a handful of other also-rans.
Once criticism started rolling into the Division of Elections, Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott issued a carefully worded statement that includes this paragraph:
“For presidential and vice presidential candidates from a recognized political party, parties submit their Certificate of Nomination. All of the Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates were asked to submit materials from the National and State Party Chairperson. However, the Republican and Libertarian candidates did not submit anything for publication in the Official Election Pamphlet by the August 30, 2016 deadline.
Here’s the explanation given by Alaska Republican Party Chairman Tuckerman Babcock:
“The Division of Elections never contacted the Trump campaign,” he said, after consulting with both Trump representatives and the Republican National Committee.
Instead, the Division went a circuitous route: “They sent a letter to the RNC about an election matter, and in the fourth paragraph they made a reference to the official election pamphlet. The Division of Elections never actually contacted Trump’s people to see if the information had gotten to the campaign.”
Babcock was copied on the letter to the RNC, but the Alaska Republican Party doesn’t typically contact national candidates about the pamphlet deadlines, he added, and so it wasn’t an action item for the local party.
The Division of Elections is arguing that their idea of notifying the Trump campaign was sufficient, although the results in the pamphlet indicate that only one out of three candidates knew of the deadline.
“No one at the local level knew that the information had not been submitted until the election pamphlet was printed,” said Jerry Ward, Trump’s campaign director for Alaska, who found out about the missing information the same way everyone else did — by opening up the voter pamphlet he received in the mail.
“The Election Division never reached out or even sent the information to Trump Headquarters in New York City. That’s where all questionnaires and materials go. We don’t fill out materials here at the local level. Instead of sending it to the published campaign address, they sent it to the RNC. Who does that?”
The answer may be that a barely competent Election Division, which was defending itself in court against a challenge over the District 40 double-voting scandal, does just that.
Whether intentional or unintentional, the Division’s method for contacting the three major national candidates resulted in a one-in-three success rate.
“People have been calling me this morning concerned that Gov. Mallott is trying to suppress Republican voter turnout. They’re furious, saying that Mallott thinks it’s OK to let people in rural Alaska vote twice, and it’s also OK to publish an election pamphlet with one out of the three major candidates for president represented,” Ward said. “It doesn’t look like the Division made any real effort to reach out to the Republican candidate.”
At the very least, the State of Alaska needs to correct the problem on their web site and with a supplemental mailing, Ward said. “It’s not like they didn’t know where Trump headquarters was in New York City.”
Babcock has asked the Division of Elections to provide him with the exact address they sent the pamphlet information to for the Hillary Clinton campaign and the other campaigns that are represented in the pamphlet, such as Darrell Castle, Constitution Party, and Rocky de la Fuente, a non-affiliated candidate. There has been no response from the Division, he said.
Voters curious about the Trump campaign can go to his web site, where a contact number is clearly posted on the front page.
BALLOT MEASURE INFORMATION MISSING
Ballot Measure One, which will make voter registration automatic for anyone applying for their Permanent Fund Dividend, provided a statement in favor of the measure, but no opposing statement.
The Division explained it this way in the voter pamphlet:
“After posting to the Alaska Online Public Notice System and solicitations, the Division of Elections did not receive a response for the Statement in Opposition for this ballot measure.”