Legislature(2021 - 2022)BUTROVICH 205

02/11/2021 03:30 PM STATE AFFAIRS

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03:32:56 PM Start
03:33:38 PM SB39
05:18:45 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Heard & Held
-- Testimony <Invitation Only TBA> --
Scheduled but Not Heard
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-- Testimony <TBA> --
**Streamed live on AKL.tv**
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
        SB  39-BALLOT CUSTODY/TAMPERING; VOTER REG; MAIL                                                                    
3:33:38 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SHOWER announced  the consideration of SENATE  BILL NO. 39,                                                               
"An Act  relating to elections;  relating to  voter registration;                                                               
relating to ballots  and a system of tracking  and accounting for                                                               
ballots;  establishing an  election offense  hotline; designating                                                               
as a  class A  misdemeanor the collection  of ballots  from other                                                               
voters; designating as  a class C felony  the intentional opening                                                               
or tampering  with a  sealed ballot,  certificate, or  package of                                                               
ballots without  authorization from the director  of the division                                                               
of elections; and providing for an effective date."                                                                             
3:34:08 PM                                                                                                                    
HARS VON  SPAKOVSKY, Heritage Foundation, introduced  himself and                                                               
shared that he is currently a  senior legal fellow and manager of                                                               
the election  law reform initiative  at the  Heritage Foundation,                                                               
and in the  past has been a county election  administrator in two                                                               
different  counties and  states.   In addition,  he informed  the                                                               
committee  he  has served  at  the  justice department  enforcing                                                               
federal voting laws.   He emphasized that he is  testifying as an                                                               
individual  and   not  as  a   representative  of   the  Heritage                                                               
MR.  VON SPAKOVSKY  opined that  it is  critically important  for                                                               
states  to improve  election integrity,  which includes  ensuring                                                               
that everyone  who votes is  legally eligible, that each  vote is                                                               
counted,  and that  the process  is  open to  observation by  the                                                               
public.    He  emphasized  the  importance  of  transparency,  an                                                               
example of which being that  the public, the political party, and                                                               
the  candidates  all  agree  the  election  result  was  achieved                                                               
without mistake or  fraud.  He opined the fairest  way to achieve                                                               
this  goal   is  by  requiring   voters  to   authenticate  their                                                               
citizenship,  identity,  and  residence when  they  register  and                                                               
vote.  He added that it  is also important for states to maintain                                                               
up-to-date  voter registration  rolls  and  ensure that  deceased                                                               
individuals  do  not  remain  on   the  rolls.    He  shared  his                                                               
understanding  of  a   study  conducted  in  2012   by  the  "Pew                                                               
Foundation" [Pew Research Center],  which estimated there were 24                                                               
million voter  registrations with significant errors,  there were                                                               
1.8  million  deceased  individuals  who remained  on  the  voter                                                               
rolls, and 2.7 million voters  registered in more than one state.                                                               
He  shared  his  understanding that  criminal  penalties  imposed                                                               
after voter fraud  has occurred were an  inefficient deterrent to                                                               
voter  fraud itself.   He  added  that when  former U.S.  Supreme                                                               
Court Justice John Paul Stevens was  on the U.S. Supreme Court in                                                               
2008,  when upholding  Indiana's  voter ID  law, Justice  Stevens                                                               
noted that fraud  has been documented and can  affect the outcome                                                               
of a close  election.  He cited examples of  close elections that                                                               
have  been overturned,  such as  the 2008  congressional race  in                                                               
North  Carolina's  9th  district,  and a  city  council  race  in                                                               
Patterson, New Jersey last summer.                                                                                              
3:38:59 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  VON  SPAKOVSKY stated  that  the  Heritage Foundation  fraud                                                               
database has 1,311  "proven cases of [voter] fraud"  entered.  He                                                               
clarified  that for  a  case  to be  considered  "proven" by  the                                                               
Heritage Foundation, an individual had  to have been convicted in                                                               
a court of law for fraud, a  court ordered a new election [due to                                                               
fraud], or a state agency has to  have found fraud.  He offered a                                                               
sampling,  which  included  "illegal   aliens"  from  Mexico  who                                                               
registered  and   voted  in  Alaska,  and   another  that  forged                                                               
signatures on  absentee ballots.  He  said this list was  the tip                                                               
of the  iceberg and  cited another  example from  Pennsylvania in                                                               
which an  individual admitted to  accepting bribes  and "stuffing                                                               
the ballot box."                                                                                                                
3:40:41 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. VON  SPAKOVSKY offered  an answer to  this problem  by giving                                                               
examples of improvements  that states could make.   He referenced                                                               
a document [included in the  committee packet], titled "The Facts                                                               
About Election  Integrity and  the Need for  States to  Fix Their                                                               
Election  Systems" that  was recently  released  by the  Heritage                                                               
Foundation. It  lists the  foundation's view  of the  best voting                                                               
practices  and   their  recommendations  on  the   entire  voting                                                               
process,  from  voter registration  systems  to  the handling  of                                                               
absentee ballots.                                                                                                               
MR. VON  SPAKOVSKY paraphrased  some sample  recommendations from                                                               
the list,  beginning with the recommendation  for statewide voter                                                               
registration lists to  be compared with other  state databases to                                                               
ensure that there  were no duplicate voter  registrations for the                                                               
same  voter.    He  stated  that the  intended  purpose  of  this                                                               
database was to  find relevant information that  may affect voter                                                               
eligibility.   He said he  viewed the system as  advantageous for                                                               
voters   as  the   system  should   automatically  change   voter                                                               
registration information  when individuals moved to  a new state.                                                               
He  continued to  offer samples  from the  list, and  recommended                                                               
states check new voter registrations  against county tax records.                                                               
He  recommended  states  run quarterly  comparisons  against  the                                                               
National Change of Address system  run by the U.S. Postal Service                                                               
to find  individuals who have  moved to another state  and should                                                               
no longer be  on the voter registration list for  that state.  He                                                               
added that  state election  officials should  be given  access to                                                               
commercial data  houses, particularly  credit agencies,  in order                                                               
to  maintain  the  accuracy of  the  voter  registration  system.                                                               
Regarding citizenship, Mr. Von Spakovsky  advocated for states to                                                               
implement  a questionnaire  for individuals  called to  jury duty                                                               
which  would inquire  about their  citizenship, filled  out under                                                               
oath.   He added  states should  require the  information gleaned                                                               
from the questionnaires to go  to election officials to make them                                                               
aware of  the individuals who have  called in from jury  duty who                                                               
have either moved to another state  or are not U.S. citizens.  He                                                               
added  that  federal  courts  should  be  implementing  the  same                                                               
practice with their juror information.                                                                                          
3:46:09 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. VON  SPAKOVSKY stated that  the basic requirement  for secure                                                               
voting  is  ID for  both  in-person  and  absentee ballots.    He                                                               
offered   his  understanding   that  the   polls  show   that  an                                                               
overwhelming  percentage  of  American voters  support  voter  ID                                                               
laws.  He  opined that  Alaska  voter  ID requirements  are  weak                                                               
because  they   allow  utility  bills  and   bank  statements  as                                                               
sufficient  forms of  ID, and  these  are easily  forgeable.   He                                                               
compared this to  the Alaska Permanent Fund  Dividend, which does                                                               
not  accept utility  bills or  bank  statements as  a method  for                                                               
establishing  residency in  the  state.   He reiterated  absentee                                                               
ballots should require  voter ID in addition to  being subject to                                                               
a tracking system in order  to determine where an absentee ballot                                                               
is and  when it should  arrive, both when a  ballot is sent  to a                                                               
voter  and when  the  voter  sends the  ballot  back to  election                                                               
officials.     He  shared  that  the   U.S.  Election  Assistance                                                               
Commission files a report with  Congress every two years based on                                                               
survey data  from each state.   According to this  report, almost                                                               
3,000 absentee  ballots were listed as  "undeliverable" in Alaska                                                               
in the last  four federal elections, and over  18,000 were listed                                                               
by  Alaska as  "status unknown."    He supposed  that a  tracking                                                               
system  would help  the state  determine what  happened to  those                                                               
ballots.  In addition, he  recommended that all states should ban                                                               
vote harvesting.   His reasoning for this was if  a state allowed                                                               
for a  third party to deliver  ballots, it made the  ballots much                                                               
more vulnerable to being altered  or not delivered, and subjected                                                               
absentee  voters to  coercion and  pressure in  their homes.   He                                                               
stated  that these  situations have  occurred in  absentee ballot                                                               
fraud cases.                                                                                                                    
3:51:53 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. VON SPAKOVSKY  concluded that all states  should ban election                                                               
officials   from   receiving   private   funding   from   private                                                               
organizations.     This  could   make  election   officials  feel                                                               
obligated to act at the  directive of these private organizations                                                               
and  create unequal  opportunity  to  vote within  a  state.   He                                                               
offered  his  understanding  that if  certain  jurisdictions  are                                                               
getting private funding  above the state and  local funding, they                                                               
may  create more  opportunities to  vote in  those highly  funded                                                               
areas than in other areas of the state.                                                                                         
3:53:20 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  SHOWER asked  Mr.  Von  Spakovsky and  the  panel to  make                                                               
recommendations  for  best  practices  to  verify  identification                                                               
through  multi-factor authentication  for in-person  and absentee                                                               
ballots,  taking into  consideration a  balance between  election                                                               
integrity and equity, and allegations of voter suppression.                                                                     
MR. VON SPAKOVSKY  suggested that laws requiring ID  to vote have                                                               
been in place for over a decade.   He stated that the majority of                                                               
lawsuits filed  against voter  ID requirements  have failed.   He                                                               
said  states  that  have  passed  voter  ID  laws  have  included                                                               
language  to  allow  for  people  to  obtain  ID  [at  no  cost].                                                               
Furthermore, most Americans already have  an ID.  He cited papers                                                               
that he  has published  on voter turnout  in states  that require                                                               
voter ID that  revealed an increase in voter  turnout, with Black                                                               
and Hispanic voters in Georgia  increasing at a greater rate than                                                               
for white  voters.  He referred  to a study published  in 2019 by                                                               
the National Bureau of Economic  Research examining voter turnout                                                               
in all  fifty states  in 2008-2016 that  concluded that  voter ID                                                               
laws had "no negative effect  on registration or turnout overall,                                                               
or for any specific group defined  by race, gender, age, or party                                                               
affiliation."   Regarding  absentee [voter  ID requirements],  he                                                               
referred to  laws in Alabama and  Kansas.  He stated  that Kansas                                                               
allows  for  voters  to  submit  photocopied  government  IDs  or                                                               
provide the  state-issued serial  number assigned to  each Kansas                                                               
ID along with their ballots.                                                                                                    
MR.  VON  SPAKOVSKY  suggested that  Americans  are  required  to                                                               
furnish  ID  routinely  for   many  different  reasons  including                                                               
constitutionally protected rights, such as  for a gun purchase or                                                               
a marriage license.                                                                                                             
4:00:41 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR REINBOLD  lauded the discussion and  proposed legislation                                                               
as a blueprint for improving  elections in Alaska.  She expressed                                                               
her  dissatisfaction with  allegations of  voter suppression  and                                                               
stated her intent to assert that such allegations are false.                                                                    
SENATOR  REINBOLD  stated  that  the  Senate  Judiciary  Standing                                                               
Committee has  invited [Third  Judicial District  Superior Court]                                                               
Judge Crosby to testify in  order to assert legislative oversight                                                               
of the  judicial branch comparable  to the oversight  apparent of                                                               
the administrative  branch.  She  stated that she  looked forward                                                               
to  hearing SB  39 in  the Senate  Judiciary Standing  Committee.                                                               
SENATOR REINBOLD asked  if he was familiar  with [Judge Crosby's]                                                               
CHAIR SHOWER advised  that Judge Crosby "struck  down our witness                                                               
signature requirement ... the legislature's purview."                                                                           
4:02:43 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. VON  SPAKOVSKY said that  he was  familiar with the  case and                                                               
added that  Andino v.  Middleton was filed  in South  Carolina to                                                             
permit  the state  to exempt  its  witness signature  requirement                                                               
during the  COVID-19 pandemic.   That was overturned by  the U.S.                                                               
Supreme Court,  which removed the  stay imposed in  lower courts.                                                               
He suggested  that numerous  cases existed  in which  lower court                                                               
stays  were overturned  by higher  courts.   He  stated that  the                                                               
opinions of the  higher courts indicated that  lower court judges                                                               
were  interfering   with  state   legislatures  and   that  state                                                               
officials were  better equipped to make  determinations regarding                                                               
voting  during the  pandemic.   He opined  that judges  in Alaska                                                               
should  follow the  guidance of  the U.S.  Supreme Court  [in the                                                               
Andino  v.  Middleton ruling]  and  allow  the witness  signature                                                             
requirement to be enforced.                                                                                                     
CHAIR SHOWER  asked whether he  was aware of any  mandatory voter                                                               
ID that would violate the 1965 Voting Rights Act.                                                                               
MR. VON  SPAKOVSKY answered  that only  in one  or two  cases was                                                               
there  a violation  of the  Act identified.   He  added that  the                                                               
voter ID laws  apply equally to all voters and  that there was no                                                               
evidence produced that the issuance  of IDs discriminated against                                                               
any ethnicity obtaining an ID.                                                                                                  
4:08:55 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SHOWER asked  whether he or anyone in  his organization had                                                               
contacted the Alaska Division of Elections with its findings.                                                                   
MR. VON  SPAKOVSKY answered that to  his knowledge no one  in his                                                               
organization had  contacted the division; however,  it had widely                                                               
distributed the  Best Practices in  Achieving Integrity  in Voter                                                               
Registration throughout the country.                                                                                            
4:10:39 PM                                                                                                                    
CHRISTIAN  ADAMS,  President,  Public Interest  Legal  Foundation                                                               
(PILF),  explained  that  PILF   is  a  501(c)(3)  that  promotes                                                               
election integrity.   Mr. Adams offered  background, highlighting                                                               
his experience  as an attorney  working on litigation  around the                                                               
country regarding  the Voting  Rights Act  of 1965,  the National                                                               
Voter  Registration Act  of 1993,  the Help  America Vote  Act of                                                               
2002  (HAVA),  and  other constitutional  provisions  related  to                                                               
MR. ADAMS stated  that he has been studying  Alaska elections for                                                               
a long time and has shared  his findings with the Alaska Division                                                               
of Elections  over the years.   He conveyed that one  of Alaska's                                                               
most   consistent  problems   is   that  the   state  has   voter                                                               
registration rates above  100 percent of those  that are eligible                                                               
to vote.  The Election  Assistance Commission (EAC) has noted, in                                                               
semi-annual  reports,  that  Alaska  is  always  coming  in  with                                                               
"implausible" rates  of registration.   This number has  been off                                                               
by a  significant margin  year after  year, which  indicates that                                                               
there is something  wrong.  He said Alaska has  been the worst in                                                               
the country  with implausible rates of  registration, having more                                                               
people register to vote than there are alive.                                                                                   
MR.  ADAMS continued  to explain  that the  normal rate  is 70-80                                                               
percent  of  the age  eligible  citizen  population; however,  in                                                               
Alaska, it  is consistently  in the  implausible range  and there                                                               
has been  no fix.   He  said that  for a  period of  time, Alaska                                                               
allowed  citizens to  register in  multiple jurisdictions,  which                                                               
could be  one cause of  the problem.   He shared his  belief that                                                               
this situation  could have  been mitigated in  the last  three or                                                               
four years.                                                                                                                     
MR. ADAMS  stated that the  Help America Vote Act  required every                                                               
state  to   set  up   a  statewide   database  to   fix  multiple                                                               
registrations by one person.  He  pointed out that Alaska may not                                                               
be  using  the effective  review  of  this centralized  statewide                                                               
database.   Mr.  Adams said  he  has yet  to find  a state  voter                                                               
registration database  that sorts  registered voters  by address.                                                               
This way, redundant voter registrations  can be found, which have                                                               
deviations in  the input of  their names into the  database, such                                                               
as a  middle name in  one place and  a middle initial  in another                                                               
registration.   He proposed  that it  could account  for Alaska's                                                               
implausible  rates of  registration.   He  said  last year,  PILF                                                               
published a report available  online called "Critical Condition,"                                                               
in which  the organization purchased  voter rolls from  41 states                                                               
and  centralized  them  to  cross   check  both  registration  in                                                               
multiple  states  and voters  who  voted  after their  registered                                                               
death.   He  indicated  that in  2018, the  study  found that  61                                                               
Alaskans cast  ballots after  death and in  2016, there  were 62.                                                               
He said another problem is  duplicate registrations.  He cited an                                                               
example  in   Pittsburg  where  one   person  had   seven  active                                                               
registrations through third parties.                                                                                            
4:18:23 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  ADAMS related  that Alaska  ranked 13th  in the  country for                                                               
same address  duplicates in  2016 with 209  duplicate votes.   He                                                               
noted that sometimes there are  false positives with this metric.                                                               
However,  PILF  cross  checked   the  information  with  multiple                                                               
commercial databases  and other  credit reporting boroughs  to be                                                               
certain  it was  the  same  individual voting  twice,  and not  a                                                               
junior  or senior  with the  same name.   In  the 2018  midterms,                                                               
Alaska was  13th in  the nation with  190 same  address duplicate                                                               
votes.  He said these are considered intrastate duplicate votes.                                                                
4:20:13 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. ADAMS  suggested address  clarification as  another solution.                                                               
When a  citizen registers  to vote  in Alaska,  the law  says the                                                               
citizen  must  provide  his  or  her  address  where  they  claim                                                               
residency.  This means he or she may  not use a PO Box, a PFC, an                                                               
HR,  or  an  RR.    In  other  words,  Mr.  Adams  clarified,  an                                                               
individual cannot register where they  do not live.  He indicated                                                               
that  Alaska  has  565   voters  registered  at  [nonresidential]                                                               
4:21:55 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. ADAMS concluded  his testimony by imploring  the committee to                                                               
"[n]ever allow private  entities to fund elections,  [and] do not                                                               
allow outside  third parties to  put in structural bias  into the                                                               
system."   He  argued  that  the best  way  to  destroy trust  in                                                               
elections is to  fund them with private money  and reiterated his                                                               
advice not to allow that to happen in Alaska.                                                                                   
CHAIR SHOWER  thanked Mr. Adams  for his presentation,  saying it                                                               
brought clarity and good information.                                                                                           
CHAIR SHOWER said his office would  like to access to PILF's data                                                               
set used  in the  presentation.   He asked  who has  attempted to                                                               
contact the Division of Elections regarding this information.                                                                   
MR. ADAMS  responded that his  staff contacted the  division, and                                                               
[the Division of  Elections has] this information.   He explained                                                               
that when  PILF finds these  problems, it alerts the  Division of                                                               
Elections to the problems on their  voter rolls.  Over the years,                                                               
he  said, [his  staff] has  been sending  the information  to the                                                               
Division of Elections as they find  it.  He argued that it should                                                               
not be a mystery that this is a problem.                                                                                        
4:24:11 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR REINBOLD complimented Mr.  Adam's presentation.  She then                                                               
clarified  that  Mr.  Adams misspoke  at  [4:21:06]  saying  "565                                                               
noncommercial"  when discussing  nonresident addresses  and asked                                                               
for the record to be clarified.                                                                                                 
MR. ADAMS agreed  that he had misspoken and  corrected the record                                                               
of  his previous  testimony  to  "nonresidential addresses  where                                                               
these individuals are registered to vote."                                                                                      
SENATOR REINBOLD asked for further  clarification from Mr. Adam's                                                               
testimony regarding Alaska's rank.                                                                                              
MR. ADAMS explained  Alaska was ranked 13th worst  in the country                                                               
for  "same address  duplicate showing  second  vote credits"  for                                                               
2016 and 2018.                                                                                                                  
SENATOR REINBOLD asked if the  deceased voters from 2016 and 2018                                                               
were from District 15 and  if they were related to Representative                                                               
Gabrielle LeDoux.  She also asked  him to weigh in on independent                                                               
expenditures, explaining  that [Alaskan election  campaigns] have                                                               
a lot  of independent  expenditures.  She  said the  governor and                                                               
many legislators have used  independent expenditures when seeking                                                               
election.   Lastly,  she asked  how to  exclude private  entities                                                               
from elections so they may be impartial.                                                                                        
MR. ADAMS  said he is not  inferring that the numbers  refer to a                                                               
specific person or race; nonetheless,  he offered to find out the                                                               
distribution of the  dead votes in Alaska.  He  noted that he did                                                               
not  know  what  district  they   were  in  or  where  they  were                                                               
concentrated, though  he had the  names.  He further  stated that                                                               
the Division  of Elections has  this information and  has already                                                               
been alerted.                                                                                                                   
MR. ADAMS  addressed Senator  Reinbold's last  question regarding                                                               
independent expenditures.   He explained  that in 2020  over $450                                                               
million   flowed  into   financing   elections  through   private                                                               
[501(c)(3)] foundations.   He cited  an election  in Philadelphia                                                               
with a  budget that was doubled  from a single private  doner and                                                               
explained  how   this  could  make  the   electoral  system  feel                                                               
untrustworthy to the doner's opposition.   He further pressed the                                                               
idea  that private  interests should  not  be funding  government                                                               
election offices.                                                                                                               
CHAIR SHOWER  thanked Mr. Adams on  behalf of the committee.   He                                                               
explained that this  effort was started three years  ago and both                                                               
sides have disputed the elections.   He opined that most people's                                                               
faith in the  election system has been shaken and  the goal is to                                                               
restore faith so  citizens may trust the results  of an election.                                                               
He advised  that the  committee may  be in  touch about  the path                                                               
4:29:37 PM                                                                                                                    
JASON  RAMPTON,   Vice  Chair,  District  14   Republican  Party,                                                               
provided a  brief history of  his service  in the U.S.  Air Force                                                               
and experience working as a dentist  in Eagle River.  Dr. Rampant                                                               
recounted reports  of voter  "irregularities" within  District 14                                                               
in  November  2020.   He  explained  that  he notified  both  the                                                               
Division  of  Elections  and  the   Lieutenant  Governor  of  the                                                               
irregularities, which  he proceeded to describe.   He anecdotally                                                               
reported  that  during  a   district  meeting,  Paulette  Ditzler                                                               
claimed that upon arriving at  her polling location for the first                                                               
time, she was  told her vote had already been  cast.  Ms. Ditzler                                                               
was  allowed to  enter  a contested  ballot  that was  eventually                                                               
counted; however,  the situation  was never  resolved.   He noted                                                               
that  additional   allegations  followed  regarding   receipt  of                                                               
multiple  ballots, including  Jeff  Wright from  Eagle River  who                                                               
reported  that   three  mail-in   ballots  addressed   to  former                                                               
residents were delivered to his  home; Jammie Allard received two                                                               
ballots addressed to former residents;  and Joe Wright received a                                                               
ballot  addressed  to  his  son  who no  longer  lives  at  home.                                                               
Additionally,  in  2016,  former  Representative  Sharon  Jackson                                                               
received a ballot addressed to  someone who had been deceased for                                                               
seven years, and in 2019,  Kristen Bush, an Eagle River resident,                                                               
received four  ballots that were  all addressed to  other people.                                                               
Dr.  Rampton  estimated  those  examples  account  for  12  extra                                                               
ballots received  in District 14;  furthermore, he  surmised that                                                               
there were many more [discrepancies] in the state at large.                                                                     
DR. RAMPTON relayed that he collected  the list of names from the                                                               
misaddressed  ballots   and  reported  the  information   to  the                                                               
Division of  Elections.   He offered  his understanding  that the                                                               
division  is attempting  to  "clean up  the  records" to  prevent                                                               
ballots from  being issued  to those names  again in  the future.                                                               
Nonetheless, he  opined that it  does not solve that  problem for                                                               
the  rest of  the state.    He shared  another personal  anecdote                                                               
about potential  attempted voter  "fraud" that occurred  "quite a                                                               
few years  back" involving  an individual from  out of  state who                                                               
attempted  to procure  a  ballot  under the  name  of a  deceased                                                               
person.    He  maintained  that the  division  was  unhelpful  in                                                               
resolving the issue.                                                                                                            
4:41:54 PM                                                                                                                    
DR.  RAMPTON  referenced  a  chart  [included  in  the  committee                                                               
packet],  titled  "Over-Registration,"  which  he  found  on  the                                                               
internet,  that listed  Alaska as  having 43,881  over-registered                                                               
voters.    He  also  referenced   a  document  [included  in  the                                                               
committee  packet],   titled  "Voting  Facts  in   Alaska."    He                                                               
     Those numbers when added together  - the residents over                                                                    
     18  and the  Alaskan registered  out-of-state voters  -                                                                    
     those  numbers should  total 597,000,  which is  on the                                                                    
     far [right] side of the  sheet there.  That's the total                                                                    
     number  of registered  voters ...  but the  Division of                                                                    
     Elections, or  whoever reported this, has  reported the                                                                    
     number  of  553,438  -  that's   the  total  number  of                                                                    
     residents  over 18  ...  that has  nothing  to do  with                                                                    
     people  that  are registered,  but  they've  put it  in                                                                    
     there and they've made it appears as though it is.                                                                         
DR.  RAMPTON,  still referencing  the  "Voting  Facts in  Alaska"                                                               
document, proposed  that if 90  percent of Alaska  residents over                                                               
18  were  registered to  vote,  then  99,225 out-of-state  people                                                               
would be  registered to vote in  Alaska.  He suggested  that "the                                                               
books are cooked" and maintained that the chart, titled "Over-                                                                  
Registration,"  is  misrepresenting  the number  of  out-of-state                                                               
people who  are registered  to vote in  Alaska.   Furthermore, he                                                               
claimed  that  the division  refuses  to  provide the  number  of                                                               
registered  voters  "inside  the   boundaries  of  Alaska."    He                                                               
asserted that number  of registered voters in  Alaska would allow                                                               
for  the  correct  calculation  of  the  number  of  out-of-state                                                               
voters,   which  he   assumed   is  much   higher  than   43,881.                                                               
Additionally, he purported  that Alaska is closer  to 130 percent                                                               
over-registered.  He speculated that  the large number of out-of-                                                               
state voters  that are  registered to vote  in Alaska  is largely                                                               
due to individuals who continue  to receive the PFD after leaving                                                               
the state.   In closing, he  restated his belief that  the number                                                               
of  registered  voters living  outside  the  state is  closer  to                                                               
150,000, not 43,881.                                                                                                            
4:49:26 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR REINBOLD  conveyed that she continues  to receive ballots                                                               
addressed to her  two children who moved out of  state five years                                                               
ago; therefore, she  speculated that the numbers  provided by Dr.                                                               
Rampton are underestimated.                                                                                                     
DR.  RAMPTON acknowledged  that he  did  not "dig  deep" for  the                                                               
information  regarding multiple  ballots,  it  was acquired  from                                                               
people who did not know where else to report it.                                                                                
CHAIR  SHOWER sought  to clarify  whether  those people  received                                                               
multiple ballots or multiple applications.                                                                                      
DR.  RAMPTON maintained  that he  verified  the information  this                                                               
morning and each person said they received ballots.                                                                             
4:52:23 PM                                                                                                                    
LANCE   PRUITT,  a   former  state   representative  representing                                                               
himself, informed the committee that  he was recently a candidate                                                               
in  District 27.   He  said  the race  was  close and  a lot  was                                                               
learned.   To  that end,  he outlined  topics on  which he  would                                                               
speak:  polling  locations; people who have moved into  or out of                                                               
the district;  and the  number of  absentees counted  compared to                                                               
past elections.                                                                                                                 
MR. PRUITT said the issue of  polling locations was argued in the                                                               
Supreme  Court.   In District  27, he  stated that  two precincts                                                               
were moved:   in the  first instance, which was  Basher precinct,                                                               
voters received notice  of the move via US mail.   In the second,                                                               
people were taken by surprise.   On August 17, 2020, the chair of                                                               
the  district showed  up at  the  polling location  to make  sure                                                               
everything was  in order.  He  signed in and had  his temperature                                                               
checked.  Then  he called the Division  of Elections ("division")                                                               
and stated  that checking  according to  the corporate  policy of                                                               
Wayland  Baptist   University,  was  "probably  going   to  be  a                                                               
challenge."  The location was  henceforth changed to Muldoon Town                                                               
Center.  When  it came time for the general  election, Mr. Pruitt                                                               
stated that he wanted to  communicate to people where they needed                                                               
to go  to vote,  as the  change had happened  so suddenly  in the                                                               
primary election.                                                                                                               
MR.  PRUITT  stated  that  on  October 21,  2020,  he  asked  the                                                               
division  the  whereabouts  of  the  polling  place  and  it  was                                                               
determined  to be  the  Muldoon Town  Center.   He  asked how  to                                                               
ensure it  would not move again  and was told the  contracts were                                                               
already signed  and it was "not  moving."  Mr. Pruitt  then found                                                               
out  the very  next day,  October  22nd, that  when the  division                                                               
called the  owner of the  Muldoon Town  Center to check  in, they                                                               
were told they could not have  the precinct there.  Reasons cited                                                               
were Muldoon  Town Center was  not made  aware ahead of  time the                                                               
last time elections  were moved there, and  additionally, that it                                                               
took  two weeks  for the  division  to pick  up their  belongings                                                               
after the election.                                                                                                             
MR. PRUITT  related that on  October 22nd the division  began its                                                               
search  for another  location and  eventually  settled on  Begich                                                               
Middle  School.   He pointed  out  COVID-19 was  utilized as  the                                                               
reasoning for the  first change but not  the second, highlighting                                                               
the  division had  had from  August  18th until  October 22nd  to                                                               
check  in  with Muldoon  Town  Center  to determine  whether  the                                                               
location could be used.   Furthermore, Mr. Pruitt pointed out, it                                                               
is in statute  that if the location  of a polling place  is to be                                                               
changed, five things  needed to happen:   1.) constituents should                                                               
receive a  mailer; 2.) location  must be changed on  the website;                                                               
3.) location must  be sent to the local clerk;  4.) location must                                                               
be  published  in  the  newspaper;   and  5.)  location  must  be                                                               
published in the  official election pamphlet.   The division only                                                               
changed  the  location  on  the  website within  a  week  of  the                                                               
election. He  said that  even this action  was not  done properly                                                               
because there  were still places  on the website that  listed the                                                               
wrong  location. He  maintained that  a sign  hung at  the former                                                               
location stated that the polling place was "somewhere else."                                                                    
5:00:09 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. PRUITT asserted that 67 of  442 precincts were changed of 442                                                               
statewide, 28 of  170 in Anchorage and Wasilla, and  19 of 119 in                                                               
Anchorage  alone.   Of these,  the division  communicated only  2                                                               
changes: one in Wasilla and one  in Houston.  Despite this, there                                                               
were no consequences for the division, he imparted.                                                                             
5:01:06 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  PRUITT  turned to  his  second  point  which was  the  state                                                               
Constitutional requirement  that an individual needed  to live in                                                               
a district for 30 days prior to  an election in order to vote for                                                               
a  state  senator  or  state  representative  in  that  district.                                                               
However,  Mr.  Pruitt stated  that  he  had received  reports  of                                                               
individuals who had moved to  a district within the 30-day period                                                               
but  had still  voted in  that district.   The  division gets  to                                                               
assume, that unless a person has  told them they have moved, that                                                               
that person still  lives in the district they moved  from and can                                                               
still vote there.   In a search, Mr. Pruitt  said his team found,                                                               
by way  of a public records  search, 50 people who  had moved out                                                               
of District 27 but who had still voted in the district.                                                                         
5:03:55 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  PRUITT  moved  on  to the  third  consideration,  which  was                                                               
absentee  voters  and the  "second  signature"  requirement.   He                                                               
opined that  there was no  doubt this consideration  impacted the                                                               
election.  He  supported his  opinion  with  the following  fact:                                                               
typically,  in  District  27,  there   was  around  a  3  percent                                                               
rejection  rate  of absentee  ballots;  this  past election,  the                                                               
rejection rate  was .037.   This was  not a  statistical anomaly,                                                               
Mr. Pruitt  stated, but  a substantial change.   He  posited that                                                               
the injunction may have affected the election.                                                                                  
MR.  PRUITT  related an  anecdote  about  a constituent  who  was                                                               
"disenfranchised" by  the location change  and said he  wanted to                                                               
dispel  any  rumors  that  he was  testifying  to  challenge  the                                                               
election.   He  reiterated  that he  was  testifying because  the                                                               
location change was  unfair to voters and needed  to be addressed                                                               
promptly.   Mr.  Pruitt  added more  anecdotal information  about                                                               
voters' disenfranchisement.                                                                                                     
5:09:17 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SHOWER noted that just  one disenfranchised voter testified                                                               
at the court  trial. He asked how many  disenfranchised voters he                                                               
found and how the judge handled the information.                                                                                
MR. PRUITT  replied "maybe 10-12  people" reached out.   He added                                                               
that  it  was also  important  to  analyze, based  on  historical                                                               
numbers, how  many people potentially  did not vote.   He relayed                                                               
his  team analyzed  Precinct 915  and two  that were  similar. He                                                               
said this  election was different;  in past  elections, Democrats                                                               
won early  60-40 or  thereabouts, but  absentee votes  turned out                                                               
more like  60-40 Republican.   Day of election, he  found results                                                               
typically  50-51  percent Republican.    This  election went  the                                                               
other way,  with absentee  votes coming out  65-35 Democrat.   In                                                               
Mr. Pruitt's own case,  he related, he won early and  day of at a                                                               
65-35 margin.  .                                                                                                                
MR.  PRUITT  added   that  it  had  been   determined,  based  on                                                               
historical  numbers  from  Precinct  915,  that  57  people  were                                                               
disenfranchised.   District 27 also had  the lowest participation                                                               
Day of, and it had been some time since it had been the lowest.                                                                 
CHAIR SHOWER asked about the judge's  statement on why he did not                                                               
MR. PRUITT  replied he did not  have that information.   He added                                                               
that he ultimately  believed the feeling was that  the impact was                                                               
not enough  to change the outcome  of the election.   He surmised                                                               
that there  was not enough  evidence in  terms of the  time frame                                                               
CHAIR  SHOWER said  the  testimony showed  there  were plenty  of                                                               
things that needed to be looked  at, and that the statistics of 3                                                               
percent to .37 percent was "definitely an issue."                                                                               
SENATOR REINBOLD thanked Mr. Pruitt for testifying.                                                                             
CHAIR SHOWER clarified that Mr. Pruitt was invited because of                                                                   
the information and data, and not because of the election                                                                       
MR. PRUITT agreed, and said he was testifying because people                                                                    
needed election integrity.                                                                                                      
CHAIR SHOWER held SB 39 in committee.                                                                                           

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB 39 Voting Facts in Alaska.pdf SSTA 2/11/2021 3:30:00 PM
SB 39
SB 39 Over- Registation.pdf SSTA 2/11/2021 3:30:00 PM
SB 39
SB 39 The Facts About Election Integrity and the Need for States to Fix Their Election Systems _ The Heritage Foundation.pdf SSTA 2/11/2021 3:30:00 PM
SB 39
SB 39 PILF-best-practices-report-FINAL(4).pdf SSTA 2/11/2021 3:30:00 PM
SB 39
SB 39 PILF Omnibus.pdf SSTA 2/11/2021 3:30:00 PM
SB 39
SB 39 Heritage foundation.pdf SSTA 2/11/2021 3:30:00 PM
SB 39