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.”

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.

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

A school closure announcement from the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District.
Schools closed for Tuesday in Homer, Anchor Point

Winter storm continues through Tuesday morning, with high winds.

Coast Guardsmen and state employees load the Together Tree bound for the Alaska Governor’s Mansion on a truck on Nov. 29, 2021 after the Coast Guard Cutter Elderberry transported the tree from Wrangell. (USCG photo / Petty Officer 2nd Class Lexie Preston)
Governor’s mansion tree arrives in Juneau

No weather or floating lines could stay these Coast Guardsmen about their task.

The Kenai Community Library health section is seen on Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021. The Kenai City Council voted during its Oct. 20 meeting to postpone the legislation approving grant funds after members of the community raised concerns about what books would be purchased with the money, as well as the agency awarding the grant. The council will reconsider the legislation on Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai council to consider library grant again

The council earlier voted to postpone the legislation after concerns were raised about what books would be purchased.

Diamond Ridge Road near Homer, Alaska, had been plowed on Monday morning, Dec. 5, 2021, but visibility was limited. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
School district announces 90-minute early release today.

Winter storms makes driving difficult on southern Kenai Peninsula.

EPA logo
Alaska Native group to receive EPA funds for clean water projects

The agency is handing out $4.3 million to participating tribal organizations nationwide.

Study: PFD increases spending on kids among low-income families

New study looks at PFD spending by parents

Image via the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation
Nikiski soil treatment facility moves ahead

The facility, located at 52520 Kenai Spur Highway, has drawn ire from community residents.

Commercial fishing and other boats are moored in the Homer Harbor in this file photo. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
Seawatch: Bycatch becomes hot issue

Dunleavy forms bycatch task force.

Rep. Chris Kurka, R-Wasilla, leaves the chambers of the Alaska House of Representatives on Friday, March 19, 2021, after an hour of delays concerning the wording on his mask. On Monday, Kurka announced he was running for governor in 2022. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Wasilla rep announces gubernatorial bid

Kurka said he was motivated to run by a sense of betrayal from Dunleavy.

Most Read