Thursday, November 6, 2008

Stolen Election in Alaska?

--- by Shannyn Moore

Something stinks. Not just an ordinary low tide smell. Not like something you’d blame on the dog. It smells like an infection.

For me to plug my nose, I’d have to overlook some curious facts. In Alaska, more people voted for George W. Bush in 2004 than for Sarah Palin on Tuesday despite an identical 61-36 margin of victory. Yes. Only four years ago 54,304 Alaskans got off their sofas and voted for Bush, but decided to sit home and not vote for Palin in 2008. In turn, I have to ignore the 30,520 Alaskans who felt progressive enough in 2004 to vote for John Kerry, but weren’t inspired enough to get out and vote for Barack Obama. I would have to glance past the 1,700% increase in the Democratic caucus in February, the 20,991 newly registered voters, and the three largest political rallies in Alaska’s history. I would also have to forget the people I stood in a long line with to early vote. It would be helpful not to know every other presidential election since Alaska began keeping records has had a larger turn out than the one we just had with our own Governor on the ticket.

Try not to remember 12.4% more Alaskans showed up for the August primary as compared to four years ago, before the Palin nomination. Don’t think about the Lower 49’s record voter turn out this year either. Try to delete the memory file, though difficult, that 80% of us approved of Sarah Palin just two months ago.

Something stinks. You don’t care? Obama won. Yes. He. Did! Free at Last! Wait. Democracy demands all of the votes be counted…if you can find them. In the balance hangs the fate of Alaska’s Senate House seats. We still don’t know if we have elected the now convicted felon Ted Stevens, or Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich. We still don’t know if Don Young and his million dollar legal problems will defeat former State Representative Ethan Berkowitz and his dreams of Washington DC. Alaska hasn’t had a Democrat represent us in Congress since Mike Gravel lost his senate seat in 1980.

Four years ago, 313,592 out of 474,740 registered voters in Alaska participated in the election-a 66% turnout. Taking into account 49,000 outstanding ballots, on Tuesday 272,633 out of 495,731 registered Alaskans showed up at the polls; a turnout of 54.9%. That’s a decrease of more than 11% in voter turnout even though passions ran high for and against Obama, as well as for and against Sarah Palin! This year, early voters set a new record. As of last Thursday, with 4 days left for early voting, 15,000 Alaskans showed up-shattering the old record set in 2004 by 28%!

Consider the most popular governor in history-and now the most polarizing-was on the Republican ticket. Consider the historic nature of this race; the first African American presidential candidate EVER! The second woman to ever make a presidential ticket; and she’s one of our own. Despite that, we’re supposed to believe that overall participation DECREASED by 11%. Not only that, but this historic election both nationally and for Alaska HAD THE LOWEST ALASKA TURNOUT FOR A PRESIDENTIAL RACE EVER!!! That makes sense. REALLY??? Something stinks.

But wait, there’s more…

Pre election polls had both Mark Begich-D and Ethan Berkowitz-D solidly beating incumbents Senator Ted Stevens and Congressman Don Young by at least 6-10 points. Stevens is currently ahead by 3,353 votes with 49,000 ballots left to count. Berkowitz, however, is behind by 16,887 votes; a 51-43 margin. Are we to believe Don Young came from an 8 point average polling deficit to win by 8 points-a whopping 16 point turnaround??? Remember how historic the pundits thought Hillary Clinton’s come from behind New Hampshire Primary victory was? She trailed Barack Obama by 9% in the pre primary polls and ended up winning by 2 points. It was called the most “stunning comeback in political history.” On Election Night, Don Young topped Hillary Clinton’s startling and unprecedented comeback.

Furthermore, there were nearly three thousand Alaskans, (2,783) that voted yet left the hotly contested congressional race blank. In the highly publicized senate race, complete with a nationally covered trial that ended with seven felony convictions for the incumbent, 1,392 Alaskans submitted a ballot and failed to register a vote in the senate race. I’m not sure statistically what that means, but it strikes me as odd that well over a thousand Alaskans would wait in long lines and not cast a vote in either the senate race or the congressional race-especially since there was only one ballot measure. In addition, this particular election had an extra high degree of local interest with Governor Palin on the national stage.

McCain-Palin was ahead in Alaska pre election polling by as much as 55-40. The Haysresearch Poll that came out Sunday indicated that gap had closed to 2.7 points! That poll was certainly consistent with Palin’s reverse meteoric fall in popularity within the state of Alaska. In that same Haysresearch Poll released on November 2, Question 2 addressed Governor Palin’s positive-negative rating. 11% of Alaskans surveyed said their opinion of Palin had become more positive while 37% indicated they were more negative towards Palin. Yesterday’s vote contradicts those polls. McCain-Palin won Alaska 61-36! A 25 POINT SPREAD!!! An identical point spread as the 2004 Election.

Alaska has certainly had our share of election hanky panky. Check out this link to our 2004 election results. There are 40 districts in Alaska. The Anchorage area districts run from District 17-District 32. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and pick any district from 17-32. Pay particular attention to the 3rd column labeled % turnout. Hit the back arrow and select another district. There are more precincts with voter turnout over 100% than under 100%. In other words, many more people voted in Anchorage area precincts than there were registered voters.

Clearly, this is not possible. In 2006, the Democrats filed a lawsuit against the Alaska Division of Elections to release public records needed to verify the 2004 election results. The Democrats ALSO sought to have the Alaska Division of Elections release the raw election data for the 2006 election. With that history, and the bizarre anomalies in polling and voting and reports from the field of ballots not being scanned on-site due to broken machines, could this election have been stolen?

I’ve always said if Democracy was a religion, voting would be the sacrament. I’m wondering if someone stole the body and blood of this election. I’m wondering if the wine isn’t poisoned. Take a few whiffs. Breathe deeply. See if you don’t come to the same conclusion. Where are the votes? Something stinks at the Alaska Division of Elections.

Here are two other great sources:

Brad Friedman writes about this here

Nate Silver at writes about this here


Crystal said...

Amazing. Ah. Maz. Ing.

At the very least, please know that my husband and I voted for Obama, Begich, and Berkowitz.

Philip Munger said...

like we did...

Anonymous said...

Aside from who you supported-- did you think that the Ted Stevens trial was conducted well?

Philip Munger said...

anon @ #3 - I worked in law enforcement/public safety for 13 years. I've been to a lot of trials. When working for Allvest, I sent hundreds of people back to jail.

The trial was not well conducted by the Fed prosecutors. Prosecutor Ed Sullivan didn't impress me very much in the Anchorage trials I observed last year, and he was in charge of this one.

But looking through the testimony, the evidence and the jury instructions, I don't see whatever other outcome could have fairly taken place. The evidence clearly shows Stevens had many opportunities to pay for stuff, and he didn't pursue them. He clearly violated the Federal statute for which he was tried.

I doubt he can win his appeal, unless something new comes out. I'm sure President Bush will pardon him.

Anonymous said...

Take a deep breath'll be OK.

CelticDiva said...

Until the 75,000 ballots are counted, it's a little premature to claim "election fraud."

November 21st we'll know a lot more.

Anonymous said...

So Diva, you're saying wait until November 21st to ask questions? Why not wait until the election is certified? Or next year? Or we can sue the state to get the GEMS application software to verify election integrity and then do nothing when we find out it's been MODIFIED numerous times post election...AGAIN! That's a great idea...cause, you know, election fraud never happens-it's a myth!

clark said...

that is exactly how it would break out. how about not pussyfooting this time?
alternately -- if stevens prevails but is kicked out of the senate, we should insist the runoff three months later is done entirely with mail in paper ballots and hand counted without the aid of optical scanners.

Freshwrestler said...

Don't cha know a hole bunch a extra folks is a watchin this one now. You and Ted are the best darn thing to ever happen to the alaska democrat party.
Thanks Sarah!

baja said...

Lowest voter turn out in Alaska history? I can see Republicans staying home with Sarah bombing, Steven's convicted, Young in legal trouble and the national polls showing Obama clearly winning, but I don't see Alaska Democrats staying home and not voting.

I voted AGAINST Stevens and Young, just as passionately as I did FOR Obama. Those three votes were equally as important to this Democrat.

It stinks alright. And it stinks when other well respected vocal dems in the state would rather bicker than get on it while we still have the spotlight of the national media.

Philip Munger said...


If anyone has jumped the shark on this issue, I'm afraid it is you.

Your short essay at your place doesn't challenge Shannyn or Gryphen's contentions per se. And neither of them are claiming that there actually is fraud. You write as if that is what they did, rather than what I read into their essays - that we need to stay on top of this, and look into details as they emerge.

Your explanation, which I discussed with you today before you posted, holds no more water than do theirs.

Shannyn did end her essay title with a question mark, after all...

Martin said...

This can Not stand. You simply can not have anyone take Office when it is 100% Clear that the Vote used is Not accurate. What is even More Important is that Common Sense should tell you that it is likely that they did NOT Win. If they had won legitimately, you would not see such obvious Fraud. The Solution; another Vote, ASAP, and considering the relative small population, there is every reason to use a simple fool-proof method. People can vote as we did for centuries, before electronic, computerized Voting came to be the method. An Honest process with an Honest COUNT can be done easily. This is just one example of the many that can be used to assure an Honest Election: The count can be handled by High-School Students with good Math skills, supervised by the most Trustworthy Individuals from all sides. I would think The People of Alaska would want this. Anyone who would be against this would be suspect by the Public.
This will not be done if this remains a "back-page" mention. This should be broadcasted Loud enough to mandate another Vote. Nobody should take an Official position, no result should be made Official until this is done. This is not only about Alaska or the Individuals who ran for Office. This is about Democracy. Its time to put an end to stolen Elections.

Popeye the sailor man said...

Shame on progressives that have no suspicion of their government despite evidence to the contrary. The time to act is NOW! Not tomorrow or next week or next month! NOW!

Anonymous said...

I sense a Progressive Cold War breaking out here.

I am suspicious too.

Stack my experience up against others - absolutely dead, 4 voters in the whole place, no lines, in and out in under 5 minutes, then I have to wonder if we didn't just stay home.

With that said however, past Alaskan elections have always been squirrely, i.e. mysterious power outages, last minute party changes, and way too many tight races determined by only a handful of votes.

It's too early to be calling voter fraud, but certainly this count has to be watched very very closely.

gryphenlover said...

First off, voter fraud has to do with voters scamming the system like the red herring Republican charges from ACORN. This is potential ELECTION FRAUD.

I beg to differ; it absolutely is NOT the time to sit back and wait. There is enough prima facie evidence to warrant a public records request and to demand a bi partisan election audit. The memory cards can be erased and ballots destroyed. Registration books can be altered. In Bush V Gore, lest you forget, the Bush team argued that Bush could be harmed because he has already been established in the media as the victor; It is painful to read about Don Young's conclusive victory when his race is the strangest yet of all. If we don't act now, the election gets certified and we will always wonder about the legitimacy of Ted and Don's election.

I have watched polls the last 2 years, there are certainly times when the polls were dead both years. My experience this year, along with the election workers at my precinct, thought we might set a record before noon.

Regardless, there are enough anomalies to stand up for election integrity now. True patriot progressives ASK QUESTIONS! Those that mock or make light of the activists should turn in their credentials...

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