Voting right denied to Anchorage man because 'signature didn't match' - Must Read Alaska
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Sunday, September 26, 2021
HomeThe 907Voting right denied to Anchorage man because ‘signature didn’t match’

Voting right denied to Anchorage man because ‘signature didn’t match’

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For one Anchorage super voter, his vote for mayor in the recent mail-in runoff election wasn’t counted, even though he went to great lengths to “cure” his ballot.

And even though his signature matches the one that is on file with the State of Alaska, the same signature that is on his driver’s license.

And even though he has been a super-voter since at least 2012, only missing one municipal election and having missed no state or federal elections.

Must Read Alaska is protecting the voter’s name, but has verified his story through reviewing official documents he received from the Anchorage Division of Elections / Municipal Clerk’s Office. For the purpose of this story, we’re calling him Sig Signer.

Signer voted the Anchorage mail-in ballot, as he did in 2018 and 2019, when he didn’t run into trouble with his signature. He used the same signature in 2021.

A conservative, Signer is an avid voter. So when he received an email from the Municipal Clerk saying his ballot needed to be “cured” because the signature on the outside of the envelope did not match the one on file, he acted quickly.

On May 13, Signer sent an email back to the Division of Elections with a photo copy of his driver’s license, and the proper form requested by the Elections Office. The signatures matched.

That same day, he received an email from Brandy Yeates of the Election Office, stating that “We have received your Voter Declaration and ID and will get your ballot processed.” Signer assumed his civic work was done and that he had cured his ballot.

On June 4, the Election Office sent Signer a letter letting him know he had not been able to vote because his signature didn’t match. Municipal Clerk Barbara Jones suggested that he register a new signature with the State of Alaska.

Must Read Alaska has reviewed all of Signer’s email and printed communication from the Municipal Clerk’s Office, which had given him a deadline of May 21 to submit his “voter declaration” to “cure” his ballot. The election was certified on May 25. The Election Office had eight days to let Signer know that his ballot was still not accepted.

The story illustrates an unresolved problem with the mail-in balloting system used by Anchorage, which relies on a left-leaning Election Commission to review questioned ballots and make a final determination. It’s the kind of situation that would not have occurred if Signer had gone to one of the three in-person voting locations during the weeks leading up to the election, had shown his driver’s license, signed the register, and then voted a traditional ballot.

The story also illustrates that even as aggressive as the Bronson campaign was in looking over the work of the Election Office, and as much criticism as Municipal Clerk Barbara Jones lobbed at Bronson’s volunteer election observers, there was at least one vote that was not allowed to be cast due to a human decision that a signature didn’t match.

Read: Municipal Clerk insults election observers and Washington Post picks up story, blames Bronson volunteers

From the election observers’ perspective, they said they felt bullied by the Municipal Clerk, and that they were kept at such a distance, they could not clearly see what was going on during the adjudication of ballots.

Must Read Alaska wants to hear from readers who had a similar experience. If you were denied the right to vote by the Municipal Clerk’s Office and Election Commission, let us know in the comment section below.

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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.

Latest comments

  • They did the same thing to me.

    This vote by mail system was put in place to get specific outcomes, not to improve voting access.

  • We (Alaskans) need to go back to in-person voting and absentee voting by request only. The Municipal Clerk has too much power in mail-in voting, there were numerous areas of suspected fraudulent activities in this last election. The way recounts are handled is ridiculous. When the Municipal Clerk picks the approximate 1100 ballots that will be looked at out of the total number of ballots. I think most of us think of a recount like what we are seeing in Arizona…an actual recount of all of the ballots, wrong! We are so special that the Municipal Clerk decides what is going to be looked at. And then she’s upset because people are questioning the process…please people don’t quit questioning this process.

  • The vote by mail system must go away as quickly as possible…and the need for the Barbara Jones’s will go away with it and free and honest elections will return to Alaska and Anchorage..!!!

  • I don’t live in Anchorage and never have, but if I identify as an Anchorage voter can I get a mail in ballot?

  • An acquaintance was due to leave AK on 4/28 to go on vacation outside the USA and to return on 5/11. He called the Muni re early voting or absentee voting but was told that they had no provision for that. His only hope was that the ballot the Muni mailed out would reach his local address prior to his scheduled trip. Fortunately it did but had it not he would not have been able to vote in the run-off election, provided the City Clerk’s office gave him correct info. And they claim this system is set up so no one will be disenfranchised … right!

  • I’m sure the homeless are subjected to the same level of scrutiny. Not.

  • Past time to end mail-in voting. If the shoe were on the other foot, ADN wold be screaming from the roof-tops and the rest of the msm would pick up the story and demand election reform. I smell a lawsuit in federal court – and it needs to happen quickly. Prepare to fight this all the way to the SCOTUS – where’s the Go-Fund-Me account? Thanks for picking this up Suzanne.

  • I’ll bet that if he was a known progressive any kind of scribble would suffice. Mail in voting and ‘curing’ of faulty votes must go away.

  • Besides enhancing ballot integrity with the requirements for (1) a solid voter ID (proof of citizenship), (2) the regular and scrupulous cleansing of the dead, the mentally disabled, and the moved-away from the registered voter rolls, and (3) the general requirement for casting a ballot in observable secrecy (a closed voting booth), there must also be the statutory requirements that the right of voting belongs only to citizens of good public character. Persons convicted of felony crimes must lose the right to vote for the full term of their sentence (including time suspended), PLUS a period of two-five years beyond the full term of the sentence, in order for the person to demonstrate a return to the most basic level of acceptable public conduct and character. A convicted murderer, obviously, must never vote again. Anyone convicted of a misdemeanor crime should automatically lose the right to vote for at least two years following conviction. A person convicted of domestic assault, or drunken driving, or shoplifting, for example, must sit out the elections for two years. For each later, separate misdemeanor conviction, the time-out will be five years. These modest changes to election law will not be enough, however, to ensure a thoughtful and responsible electorate, so long as we have a large cadre of citizens who are more concerned with government largesse than with personal responsibility and self-sufficiency. “Ask not what your country can do for you…” I am unsure how much this discussion matters, since our nation’s moral, philosophical, and economic foundation is hastily being undermined at every turn. Still, we must never surrender the prize of self-government to the mobocracy.

  • Vote was turned down for my wife due to signature not matching. Despite, mailing her vote early, she got the mailed notice of denial – 1 day before the “curing” deadline ended.

  • Marxism/Communism in action!

  • I was a Bronson election observer, both at Eagle River polling site and at the Ship Creek election center. My experience was the election workers in Eagle River were very accommodating and went to great lengths to be fair and impartial even though I knew a couple of them were on the opposite political spectrum. However, there was no difference voting by mail or going to a polling site to vote in person. At the polling site, the election worker verified you were an Anchorage resident with some form of ID. Once verified, you were then given a ballot to vote, which you then sealed in an envelope and placed into a drop box. This envelope went through the same process as all other mail-in voter envelopes. At the election center, most election workers were cordial. Some were accommodating and made sure I could see what they were doing; others asked me not to talk to them; and once I was chastised for taking a picture. I was there when an acquaintance came in to cure his ballot. He never received his ballot in the mail so he voted from a polling site. It turns out someone voted with his mail-in ballot. He verified his ballot at election center, which was counted. My friend believes his ballot was delivered in the mail to his neighbor by mistake who voted with it. In this scenario , the neighbor’s vote would not be counted. I believe if voter fraud was going to occur, it would have been at the Barbara Jones level and direction. After this experience, I am absolutely against mail in voting. The whole mail-in process took weeks that otherwise would have been over in days in a normal election. And over a 1000 voters would not have had to cure their ballots. It also invites voter fraud by being drug out for weeks.

  • I’ve said this Many times before.
    Mail in voting is cheating end of Story.
    Go to the polls showID one vote
    Have a nice day.

  • The new mayor better clean house or he will never have a chance to do anything in this town. Get rid of all these department heads, liberal scum. Along with the two three and four people below them. Gone or the cancer will continue.

  • It is obvious that the Election Commission is partisan and perhaps even corrupt. I am curious if these discrepancies are predominately for conservative voters or if there is an equal number for liberal voters. Regardless, Municipal Clerk Barbara Jones is compromised. She has to be replaced.

  • This why I don’t like being around Democrats: they throw you on a merry-go-around and keep it spinning until until you get so sick you left no choice but jump off a moving object while you stagger off while you are recovering from the motion sickness. Must Read Alaska is like the playground kid who walks up and stops the spinner after seeing the mean kids torturing their victim.

  • Voting is a precious civil duty, and, with very rare exceptions, should be done in person, with a photo ID. As an aside, the elections office should be purged.

  • This, boys and girls, is why I voted in person.

  • They also sent me a letter stating my signature did not match. I did not have time to go through what they wanted. So my vote was not counted. I voted for Bronson….

  • Absolutely nothing wrong with voting in person. If you can get in. There is a problem if your boss says you can’t take time off (paid or unpaid) to vote on Tuesday, which is the usual voting day, so some people vote absentee, in person, on weekends. Usually not a problem, but signature verification is still required as it would be for in person, election day voting.
    This story is about mail-in voting, and it shows why it can be problematic. The voter in question, Mr. Signer, had his vote disallowed because his signature did not match the one on record. This is a judgement call. I don’t know if he took the suggestion to submit a new signature to heart, but that wouldn’t necessarily fix the problem.
    What this comes down to is deciding which votes are legit and which are not. Mail-in is no more or less legit that in person when it comes to comparing signatures. A ballot is not legit until it has cleared the election officials’ gate keepers, and whether it gets there by mail or by a human coming in to vote in person is not a whole lot different.
    I find it ironic that Mr. Signer, who seems to lean to the right, is being harvested by the system most REPUBLICANS are trying to institute to repress the votes of those they think will vote Democratic. Be careful what you wish for.

  • My friend and his son both voted in person and still had to go revalidate their signature in person! What crooks!!

  • This is really sad, they said my signature wasn’t the same either which was odd because I just renewed my drivers license. I fortunately was able to get my vote cured.
    What I don’t understand, if you fill out the paperwork, answer the questions, that includes showing your ID, and resign then how can they say it’s not you?

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