An election official lays out “I voted” stickers on Tuesday, Nov. 3. Stickers for the 2020 general election featured designs by Alaskan artist Barbara Lavallee. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

An election official lays out “I voted” stickers on Tuesday, Nov. 3. Stickers for the 2020 general election featured designs by Alaskan artist Barbara Lavallee. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

Lt. Gov. seeks initiative audit to calm questions

He said he thinks the ballot measure passed “fair and square.”


Associated Press

Republican Lt. Gov. Kevin Meyer said he plans to seek an audit of votes cast on a statewide ballot initiative to help put to rest questions some have raised about the “validity” of election results tied to the vote tabulation equipment the state uses.

Meyer, who oversees elections in Alaska, said the state is charged with conducting a “fair and honest election, and I believe we’ve done that.”

Meyer said the only reason he’s seeking an audit is because “so many people think our Dominion machines are faulty, corrupt and easily manipulated, and I think a lot of this is misinformation that’s coming from the national level.”

President Donald Trump and some supporters have sought to sow doubt in the results of his race by attacking Dominion Voting Systems, one of the largest voting technology providers in the U.S., despite no evidence of any serious irregularities.

Alaska has used the company for years and got new Dominion machines it used for the first time in this year’s primary election, Meyer said.

[Almost all races called, but results not yet certified]

His chief of staff, Josh Applebee, said it was “perfectly reasonable, considering the fact that this is new equipment, to do the audit, to verify the accuracy of them.”

Meyer said the machines proved accurate during the primary.

The issue Meyer said his office is hearing about most following the Nov. 3 general election is Ballot Measure 2, which voters narrowly approved. That measure will be the subject of the audit.

The initiative would do away with party primaries and institute ranked choice voting in general elections. Some people say they don’t understand how it could go from trailing on election night to being on top, Meyer said.

Election officials, ahead of the general election, sought to tamp down expectations about election night results, which did not include the large number of absentee, early and other ballots that officials did not begin counting until Nov. 10. Some campaigns and others encouraged early or absentee voting amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The audit would not change any votes and would occur after results are certified, Meyer said. He did not have an estimate for what it would cost. He said he surmised a bipartisan state review board would do the hand count after it completes its other election duties.

More than 340,000 ballots were cast on the initiative. Unofficial results showed the measure passing with 50.55% of the vote, compared to 49.45%.

Meyer said he thinks the ballot measure passed “fair and square. But we have to be able to convince and prove to all Alaskans that not only did that pass fair and square but the whole election process was done fairly, accurately and lawfully.”

Scott Kendall, a drafter of the initiative and an attorney for the initiative sponsors, said his guess is that Ballot Measure 2 was picked “because they’re getting an earful that people don’t like the results.”

He said in Alaska there’s “literally zero evidence that anything went wrong.” Kendall said it’s ironic there are some people “who love certain results on the ballot but don’t like other results. Yeah, you don’t get to pick and choose. But I can understand the school of thought that says, there’s nothing wrong, let’s show them.”

More in News

Meals slated for children in Juneau over Thanksgiving weekend are arrayed on tables at Thunder Mountain High School on Nov. 25, 2020. (Courtesy photo / Luke Adams)
Font of plenty: JSD readies meals for Thanksgiving holiday

Nearly three tons of food got distributed for the long weekend.

Travelers arrive at the Juneau International Airport on Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020, made up only about half of what the airport normally sees in the days leading up to the Thanksgiving holiday. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Centennial Hall, seen here on Tuesday, Nov. 24, is being used by the City and Borough of Juneau as an emergency facility during the coronavirus pandemic and will not host the annual Public Market which has taken place every weekend after Thanksgiving since 1983. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Want to buy Alaskan? Closed by pandemic, Public Market goes virtual

Normally throngs of Juneauites would be lined up around the block…

To capture the unexpected action- the unrepeatable moment- it should be instinctive.  In order to build the story you have to shoot the adjective.  In this photo the bald eagle had waited patiently for the right moment to pounce on an unsuspecting vole… the unexpected.  The best way to accomplish this is to master the art of the most difficult subject to photograph– birds in flight.  In order to do this you must learn your gear; it must become part of your muscle memory so you can concentrate on the story you are witnessing.  Canon 5D Mark III, Tamron 150-600mm, shot at 600mm, ISO AUTO (1250), F6.3, 1/3200, Handheld. (Courtesy Photo / Heather Holt)
Focal Point: Great photos are just waiting in the wings

Learn to shoot the verb (and the bird).

Has it always been a police car. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire)
Police calls for Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Construction of the new Glory Hall, above, is going smoothly, said executive director Mariya Lovishchuk on Nov. 24, 2020. (Courtesy photo / Thor Lindstam)
Building a brighter future: New Glory Hall reaches skyward

The structure is rapidly progressing, shouldering aside inclement weather.

This 2020 electron microscope image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories shows SARS-CoV-2 virus particles which causes COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells cultured in a lab. On Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, the top U.S. public health agency said that coronavirus can spread greater distances through the air than 6 feet, particularly in poorly ventilated and enclosed spaces. But agency officials continued to say such spread is uncommon, and current social distancing guidelines still make sense. (NIAID-RML via AP)
COVID at a glance for Tuesday, Nov. 24

The most recent state and local numbers.

Most Read