What? Election workers haul blank ballots into Anchorage ballot counting offices - Must Read Alaska
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Monday, June 14, 2021
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What? Election workers haul blank ballots into Anchorage ballot counting offices

In what may be seen as an act of transparency or sheer cluelessness, election workers unloaded 50 boxes of blank ballots at the Anchorage Election Office on Friday, and stacked the boxes in one of the spacious rooms. In broad daylight, while counting is underway in the mayor’s runoff election.

Bronson for Mayor campaign workers were on site, and approached the operation to document it. The campaign may file a challenge over the action, since there are now thousands of blank ballots in the same building where ballots are being counted. The room the ballots are in has a push-button code, but it’s unknown how many municipal workers have the code.

The boxes of blank ballots are said to be leftover from the in-person voting centers in Anchorage. These ballots were available to people who did not wish to participate in the mail-in election, but wanted to vote in person on May 11. It’s unknown how many ballots are in these boxes.

Election observers were not notified that the blank ballots were arriving, but the Bronson Campaign has a robust monitoring crew on site.

The Anchorage mayoral election ended on May 11, and counting of ballots continues on Friday. As of Thursday evening, 80,993 ballots had been counted. The election is scheduled to be certified by the Assembly May 25, and the new mayor will be sworn in on July 1.

Read: Soft concession or distraction: Dunbar loses hope but Bronson fights on

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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

  • Is this what’s known as a “nothing-burger?”

  • They’re just waiting for a clogged toilet to evacuate the building so they can mark and count those blank ballots; worked real well in November.

  • What could go wrong? By their feckless actions they have delegitimized this election no matter who wins.

  • What’s wrong with these people? Is there a municipal employee who has an IQ over 75?

  • The blank ballots need to be removed.
    The clerk needs to be removed as well!

  • Oh gosh! The Municipality clerk is just trying to increase suspicions even more than the suspicions people already hold.
    It would have been best to put the boxes in a warehouse/storage unit for temporary storage until after the Mayor race has been declared. This way no new boxes are brought into where the counting is occurring, then there be less suspicion. I thinking the municipal clerk has no common sense.

  • Four questions:

    1) Did Barbara Jones make the decision to bring boxes filled with “blank ballots” into the room in which voted ballots are being counted?

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    2) Who does Barbara Jones report to? (The assembly chairperson?)

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    3) Is she an at-will employee?

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    4) Who can fire her?

  • Meddling in a election is nothing less than treason, and should be treated accordingly. It is a direct attack on our democracy.

    I’m not buying that is an innocent mistake.

  • Should have been tossed directly into one of Shred Alaska’s trucks!

  • All ballots should have been accounted for on election night. When I worked my precinct the unused were noted then sealed with tape and workers signatures signed across the seals to prevent tampering. Boxes were returned to the headquarters that night and presumably separately secured at one of the many checkin stations. I would wonder where have these ballots been for 2 days.

  • This doesn’t seem like a good move on the part of the MOA staff. If voting stopped at 8 pm on Tuesday, where have the blank ballots been stored since then? Why were they moved now? Something doesn’t feel right here. Maybe the State Troopers should be brought in to secure the blank ballots for safe keeping?

  • Maybe they got the days and nights mixed up with Dunbar away for three days..??…but it is now clearly the night shift we need to be concerned about..!!!

  • Are they sure they are unmarked? I’d dig into the boxes and check the middle. When democrats are involved anything is possible.

  • Why not just mark the ballots and cut the corners. They will never be used again?
    The ballots create controversy just by being there.

  • How many ballots are supposed to be there? How do we know that they didn’t drop off a few thousand at a union hall “just in case”? Are these people this ignorant or this arrogant? Now all they need to do is clog a toilet or pull a fire alarm and they can cast as many ballots as they want.

  • “Dunbar pulls ahead by 0.5% of the votes” read the headlines next week, a miraculous pull-ahead win that no one saw coming! West Tank Farm? Since no member of the public is allowed to observe, how will we know if votes were or were not made up and counted?

  • The Bronson team should demand each box be numbered, inventoried, and wrapped in tamper-evident tape, while the Bronson team videos the process
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    The Bronson team should demand to know when, how, and where these blank ballots will be destroyed and video that process, too.
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    Seems unreasonable having to go through this crap just to lessen the opportunity for election fraud…
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    But it looks like things such as this must happen until Anchorage’s easily corruptible mail-in balloting system and the Dominion machinery are abandoned and traditional voting is restored.

  • Quick! Get a can of red spray paint and give it all a dose of taint. 😉

  • Call the cops

  • Seems like the ballot counting room should be in a vault. Ballots are no different than currency.

  • Greg R., to a progressive, any means to win an ‘election’ is okay, justified because they know that they are more intelligent and right on the issues, so it is their divinely (poor word choice) anointed duty to lead the unwashed masses to righteous socialism. I know, I grew up as one. So this is just business as usual, a ‘nothing burger’ as you say, just like a union election.

  • Dunbar emergency ballots…

  • Unbelievably stupid, or unbelievably corrupt?! The muni clerk should resign.

  • Well, the clerk did accomplish one thing … everyone and their dog is watching the count now.

  • They should have called a shredding company. They are scrap papers NOW. Get rid of them.

  • I posted previously on the irresponsible stewardship of the voting process and damage to the public trust under the Clerk and Deputy Clerk. Why you deleted the post doesn’t make sense and the reality is that neither of those parties has earned the public trust and neither of them have acted responsibly with regard to the process.

    That the two may have been in the bldg unattended is frankly, BS. That they might not be strategic enough to see that there is a good reason to treat the public’s trust with greater respect is shameful and that an election result might seem suspect based on your own behavior is absolutely wrong.

    Without consequences there’s no accountability and those two should definitely be held accountable and lose their respective positions. Absolutely irresponsible behavior, particularly under the current political climate. Whomever these women report to owes the voters of Anchorage an apology and an explanation.

  • Run a blank ballot through a tabulator machine and you’ll end up with an adjudicated ballot.
    It’s a feature not a bug!

  • Power Corrupts, as the old saying goes and this gang in power is no exception. I do not think this action was one of cluelessness, it is contrived and made to humiliate you. Similar to the ” Fire Drill” this action is to remind you that they run the show here. Don’t ever forget it. Don’t believe me? Look at the recent court actions concerning voter qualification, ballot counting, the gamut. These sappers within government know that their friends in the courts have their backsides covered.

  • Oh, gee! Looky here! These AREN’T unused ballots. They’ve been marked for the forest creature. lol
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    They can’t be used again, so why keep them?
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    Doesn’t pass the smell test.

  • Would anyone be surprised? This has been going on since the 60s

  • Unbelievable arrogance and stupidity exemplified!

  • I cant for the life of me figure out why they didn’t just take those ballots over to Dunbar headquarters so they could mark them and get them into a couple union hands trunks.

  • Call in the National Guard to clean up the voting system, today.

  • This whole attitude of election officials, and workers acting as though they answer to no one, and are above observance from the public needs to end.
    No matter who wins, this kind of election nonsense has got to be cured, to fix the trust. There should always be observers in place, all the time, and I mean all the time. If it’s in the middle of the night and someone needs to go pick up their favourite pen they forgot, they will be escorted by observers. Even if they might not be entering the ballot area. If you enter or are in the building where the ballots are housed, you will be observed. This excuse that observers slow the count, will not fly, you will be observed at all times for the integrity of our elections. Better to slow the count than to create mistrust. With over whelming easy surveillance anymore, there should be no reason to not have 24 hour public viewing. It’s our election, our call, our funds, these people work for us, we have a right to have observation access, and better transparency.
    Of course then there should also be some kind of verifiable chain of evidence command created for post locations and delivery, that involve observers as well.

  • This is how they do it. If this isn’t watched all those ballots will become Dunbar votes. These boxes should have immediately been sealed and marked.

  • Folks, you would never, ever have known this happened except for Suzanne. Get our your checkbook and send your donation to Must Read Alaska!

  • Watch that closely 😡

  • Watch that closely 😡

  • Call me naïve but it’s difficult for me to believe that there are not at least a very few, a remnant if you will, of honest, ethical democrats who while wanting to win, would far sooner win honestly. If anyone knows of any I’d like to send them a note of encouragement! Wouldn’t hurt for an awful lot of our professing republicans to get some steel in their spines as well.

  • Maybe they should weigh the ballots with a digital scale every night and lock them in the safe with one lock code set by one candidate and a second lock code set by another. Then turn the cameras on so that we can see what is going on. There should be only a small hand full of ballots with corrections on them. Any new ballots need to have the ink foreinsically tested to make sure that only one pen was used. I am sure that there are other measures that can be taken that I haven’t thought of. You can only cheat so much and I think the record turn out has done the left in this time.

  • Who is clueless? If all you people (you too, Suzanne) weren’t too lazy to look up the MOA Election Statutes, you would know that Ballots are NOT processed/tabulated unless they arrive at the Election Center in sealed, voter-signed envelopes from secure drop boxes or from the US Postal Service, transported by two sworn election officials. Then the envelopes are sorted and subjected to signature verification before being opened and prepared for machine tabulation.
    ALL ballots are in the presence of two sworn election officials at ALL times during processing or transport and storage. Otherwise, ALL ballots are under lock and key.

    The blank ballots were in a locked room at City Hall and transported to the Election Center to be inventoried before being securely stored and eventually shredding per MOA statutes. There’s no way any of those ballots could ever end up getting marked and tabulated because of beginning to end built-in safeguards.
    If anyone really wants to have confidence in Anchorage’s election process, do what I did. Next year, go to work on the election as an employee or a volunteer. Meet the people you are maligning and you’ll discover that the Election Center is filled with people of the highest integrity who work very hard to produce accurate results for an honest and trustable election.

  • Lary Smith, that is the law, just like the many other election laws often ignored by progressives.

  • Right… and cheating has never happened with election officials before. Weather or not all the precautions were intact, having blank ballots in the same building, locked room or not, sworn officials or not, and all the rest, there should never have been made the perception of wrongdoing, especially with the woman with a box showing up at 10:58pm, the clerk and her assistant being there at 11pm and the Clerk sending home the observers at 5pm and the workers staying!
    Perception becomes reality. Why set up more distrust?
    Very bad judgment all the way around!

  • @Lary Smith No doubt those that made the mistakes would like to believe their behavior was above reproach. You would also like us to think that their collective nature puts them above scrutiny and suspicion.. What you’re reading here is confirmation that you are incorrect and part of the problem.
    .
    Faith is a firm belief that events have taken place in a specific way despite an absence of evidence. There is no reason to have faith in any involved in this process and you should be working to bolster the public’s trust rather than arguing that the public should view those of your ilk above disapproval.

  • There’s always a ‘way’ Mr. Smith, particularly when there are woke Democrats behind the last door, after hours.

  • Keep your cellphones charged and keep taking photos and videos of these idiots running the ballot count. Take nothing for granted. Assume that they are corrupt Democrats and would throw their own children under the bus to win an election. If caught cheating, post immediately.

  • Because having one of the many shredder companies dispose of them right away would be a bad idea right.

  • Because having one of the many shredder companies dispose of them right away would be a bad idea right.

  • NO BLANK BALLOTS-ONLY BLANK PAPER. Larry Smith documented the correct procedure for ballots. However he failed to say that there are NO BLANK BALLOTS. Please understand there are no blank ballots there were BOXES OF BLANK PAPER CARD STOCK that election workers could have printed ON A SPECIAL PRINTER with all the barcodes information for someone who came in to a Voting Center and if Election Center did not have their particular district. Every box, every ballot, every piece of paper, has to be accounted for and is accounted for. The ballots are never left alone – there are always two people to protect the integrity. Yes, I agree with Mr. Smith, take a tour of the election facilities, volunteer to be an election worker, and you will see that Alaska still has the best honest election process.

  • Doris, yes, tell that to Gabby Ledoux and Lance Pruitt that cheating is impossible.

  • @Doris The public holds those associated w/ vote count to a higher standard and you should hold yourself in a manner befitting the public trust. No one is interested in (nor will they believe) that those were boxes of blank paper.
    .
    Why, you ask? Because there would be no reason to deliver boxes of blank paper to that office. A sacrosanct cornerstone of democracy is being handled irresponsibly by people that think they can make excuses for their behavior and I suppose on a temporary basis they can. No one will accept an excuse but those involved can make as many as they like until we find replacements that don’t need to. That’s not hard to understand.

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