Tuesday, November 16, 2004

50 States Mislead Their Voters Part 2

I'm going to try to take a look at election anomalies and accusations of fraud in all fifty states for Election 2004 (if anyone has any news or links...leave a comment or e-mail me...).


DIRTY TRICKS - Lt. Gov. Loren Leman, the Republican chief of the Division of Elections (In Alaska, the Lt. Gov. serves as Secretary of State), was responsible for the wording of a ballot initiative that a Superior Court judge ruled was "inaccurate and biased." (USA Today) A group of Democratic legislators drafted an initiative which would "abolish appointments and require a special election in all cases except when the vacancy occurs within 60 days of a primary election," because in 2002 Republican Frank Murkowski appointed his daughter Lisa Murkowski to his Senate seat after he was elected governor. Lt. Gov. Loren Leman wrote the initiative's ballot summary which erroneously read that Alaska could be without a senator for three to five months, and kept the summary secret until the ballots were printed. "Emphasizing one consequence to the exclusion of others is impermissible advocacy," Judge Moorage Christen wrote in his decision.

VOTE SUPPRESSION - "Calling it an outrageous attempt at voter suppression, Alaska Democratic Party (ADP) chair Scott Sterling blasted the Murkowski Administration for challenging the ADP's absentee voter mailer that was previously approved by the State Division of Elections. It is clearly a tactic being used by Gov. Frank Murkowski and Lt. Gov. Loren Leman to prevent people from voting absentee and suppress voter turnout." Sterling noted that the Republican Party fills out absentee ballot forms with the name and other information, including party registration, of the voter, even though the ADP was specifically told not fill in such information. Sterling also noted a recent Republican Party mailer signed by party chair Randy Ruedrich that accused the Democratic Party of "legal manipulations" by challenging Loren Leman's wording of the Trust the People ballot initiative. The courts ruled against Leman and ordered the ballot be reprinted (Daily Kos Diary Snuffleupagus).

Just two days before election day, Laura Glaiser, director of the state Divisions of Elections, announced that 100 electronic voting machines made by Ohio-based Diebold Election Systems would not be used "because of increasing concerns about their lack of a paper trail and vulnerability." "I have to look at the integrity of the voting process," Ms. Glaiser said (Anchorage Daily News).

"In 2000, 13% of the total vote was uncounted in Alaska (Edison Media Research). "In 1998 Alaska had 66,000 more registered voters than Census estimates of its voting age population. And in almost every election cycle there are reports of turnout exceeding the actual number of registered voters in a given precinct." (US Senate Committe).


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