Voting Irregularities in Alaska?

Don’t expect Joe Miller to concede anytime soon. Sen. Lisa Murkowski has declared victory, but the Miller campaign, citing the election’s close margin (among uncontested ballots, Murkowski leads by about 2,200 votes; if you add the contested ballots in, Murkowski has a lead of about 10,000 votes in an election where 255,000 votes were cast), is considering asking for a recount and examining precinct logs today and possibly tomorrow as well to see if any voting irregularities occurred.

The Miller campaign has posted on their site three affidavits from voters concerned that irregular activity occurred at their polling places. One says that, although he was the tenth voter at his location, he saw a ballot box stuffed with “hundreds” of ballots. Another claims that the 15 write-in ballots she reviewed had Sen. Lisa Murkowski written in in what looked like similar enough handwriting that it could be from the same person.

“Our campaign has sworn affidavits identifying unsecured ballot boxes, other precincts where numerous ballots appear to be in the same handwriting, others where there is 100 percent voter turnout and still other precincts where the ballots were sent to the Division of Elections presorted by U.S. Senate candidate,” said Miller spokesman Randy DeSoto in a statement. “These and other irregularities give our campaign pause. Alaskans must be able to trust the results of its elections.”

The Miller campaign, citing the a past history of irregularities from Alaska’s voting machines, is considering asking the state to do a hand recount of the votes. Joining them in that request is an unusual ally: liberal Alaskan radio host Shannyn Moore, who has made it clear she doesn’t support Miller’s candidacy. But in article for the Huffington Post, she questions the accuracy of the senate vote count, writing:

Despite heavy national media coverage and historic Citizens United money spent on Alaska’s hotly contested and much-watched three-way US Senate race, the results, if we are to believe them, were a surprisingly low voter turnout. In fact, this election was one of the lowest turnouts since they started tracking ballots cast versus registered voters in the mid-1970s.

It’s strange that Anchorage appearances by both Rachel Maddow and Glenn Beck covering the high profile race had such a chilling effect on voters.  It’s curious that the forgotten gubernatorial race, reportedly, had several hundred more votes recorded than the attention-grabbing U.S. Senate race. Furthermore, as returns from around the state poured in on election night, the percentages between candidates in statewide races never changed throughout the evening-despite Juneau, for instance, being ideologically opposite of Wasilla.

Election chain of custody is the unbroken trail of overseeable accountability that ensures the physical security of our ballots during an election.  Goldbelt Security Services was contracted by the Alaska Division of Elections to provide the security and transportation of the ballots to Juneau.  Goldbelt is an Alaska Native Corporation with SBA 8(a) status-meaning they are eligible for sole-source, no-bid government contracts.  The 8(a) program was relentlessly attacked by Joe Miller.  The Alaska Native 8(a)’s unanimously backed Lisa and provided tremendous financial support in the bargain. As they transported the record of the state’s future, Goldbelt Security had a tremendous stake in the outcome of the election. Imagine if the Alaska Division of Elections contracted Drop Zone Security to transport and guard the election ballots. How would the Murkowski camp react?

I’m not buying it.  We are a small enough state that we should have hand counts.

The Alaska Republican party has asked Miller to concede. “We call on Joe Miller to respect the will of the voters and end his campaign in a dignified manner,” said chairman Randy Ruedrich in a statement, according to the Anchorage Daily News. National Republican Senatorial Committee spokesman Brian Walsh told the Associated Press today that the election “should be decided by the people of Alaska” and said he would not comment further until the election was certified.

Katrina Trinko — Katrina Trinko is a political reporter for National Review. Trinko is also a member of USA TODAY’S Board of Contributors, and her work has been published in various media outlets ...

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