Party leaders seek state transparency on prospective voter fraud
Democrats and Republicans don't often agree on the issues, but there is one thing they are both calling for this election — more transparency from the state regarding potential voter fraud during the state primary election this summer.
"What has been alleged is the most serious case of possible case of voter fraud that I think the state of Alaska has ever seen," said Jay Parmley, executive director of the Alaska Democratic Party.
Back in August, the Division of Elections says it received absentee ballot requests from seven people who were legally dead. These ballot irregularities centered around a single District 15 House race that featured Republican candidates incumbent Gabrielle LeDoux and Aaron Weaver. Voter records showed an unusually large number of people registered to single homes in an East Anchorage neighborhood. LeDoux won the race by 117 votes, but quickly picked up another Republican challenger, write-in candidate Jake Sloan.
KTVA has now filed three rounds of open records requests, but the state refuses to say whether it's looking into the matter, citing state law that exempts documents that could possibly jeopardize an investigation.
But with the general election now just one week away, both parties agree that no comment is not an acceptable answer.
"I'm not saying they should move extra fast to indict someone just before an election, but if they're doing an investigation, and denying the public information about previous investigations or ongoing collection of information. They at least should make that public," said Tuckerman Babcock, chair of the Alaska Republican Party. "So it's a situation now where it's all shrouded in secrecy."
Parmley noted that this is a rare occasion where he and Babcock share a similar view. He calls the potential voter fraud a non-partisan issue.
"I'm not asking for the facts, I'm simply asking for a recognition — they've heard, they're in the process, and they'll deliver an answer," Parmley said. "I'm not expecting an answer by Election Day, I just expect that we know that there's a process."
KTVA asked both candidates for governor whether Alaskans have the right to know if the state is investigating the potential primary fraud.
Republican candidate Mike Dunleavy responded in a written statement: "Of course Alaskans have a right to know if the state is taking action against voter fraud. We must restore faith in government."
Democratic candidate, Mark Begich, said Thursday that he and his running mate would investigate potential voter fraud, adding that voters would have a right to know if such a case was under investigation in his administration.
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