Legislature(2021 - 2022)BUTROVICH 205

02/16/2021 03:30 PM STATE AFFAIRS

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+= SB 43 ELECTIONS, VOTING, CAMPAIGN FINANCE TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSSB 43 (STA) Out of Committee
-- Invited & Public Testimony --
Alaska Public Offices Commission - Heather Hebdon
+= SB 39 BALLOT CUSTODY/TAMPERING; VOTER REG; MAIL TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> TBA --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
**Streamed live on AKL.tv**
        SB  39-BALLOT CUSTODY/TAMPERING; VOTER REG; MAIL                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:54:06 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR   SHOWER  reconvened   the   meeting   and  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."                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
He  listed  the individuals  available  to  answer questions  and                                                               
advised  that the  committee would  first hear  invited testimony                                                               
from Heidi Covey.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
3:55:28 PM                                                                                                                    
HEIDI COVEY,  Chair, Nikiski Election Precinct,  Nikiski, Alaska,                                                               
stated  that  she was  invited  to  share  what happened  at  the                                                               
Nikiski Precinct during the recent election. Her testimony was                                                                  
as follows:                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     This year  was a  challenging year for  all of  us with                                                                    
     the pandemic. None  of us have been  through a pandemic                                                                    
     before,  which   obviously  opened  up   some  election                                                                    
     differences for  us. This year  we all  were introduced                                                                    
     to a new voting system in  the state. In that action we                                                                    
     were unable  to even  have training in  person because,                                                                    
     again, of  the pandemic. All  that was done  via either                                                                    
     calling  in  to the  state,  via  the internet,  or  we                                                                    
     actually had CDs.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     November 3 was a challenging  day for I would say every                                                                    
     election official  statewide. We  had a  higher turnout                                                                    
     and it was  a very intense, passionate  election. I can                                                                    
     speak for my community, which  for the record is one of                                                                    
     the areas in  our state - Birch Creek  and Nikiski have                                                                    
     a higher  percentage of voter  turnout anywhere  in our                                                                    
     state.  Before  6:30 in  the  morning,  we already  had                                                                    
     people lining up out the door  to come and vote in this                                                                    
     election.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     So,  we were  already under  that pressure,  under that                                                                    
     gun. The other  thing we also had that  day, because of                                                                    
     higher  volume  and  people very  passionate...  In  my                                                                    
     community, in my  borough, we had just  the month prior                                                                    
     we  had just  voted  down  vote by  mail,  of which  my                                                                    
     community is extremely  passionate about. Actually, our                                                                    
     borough is.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Because of the  pandemic, there was a  decision made to                                                                    
     mail out  ballots. That absolutely caused  stress for a                                                                    
     good number of  the people in my  community. Because we                                                                    
     had  just voted  it down,  not only  in October  but we                                                                    
     also  voted  it down  in  2014.  To automatically  have                                                                    
     ballots mailed  out to these  individuals it  very much                                                                    
     upset them. And  being front line workers,  we were the                                                                    
     ones  that had  to handle  that in-person,  eyeball-to-                                                                    
     eyeball, with the voters of our area.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     We had  that obstacle  and in  that obstacle  they were                                                                    
     physically bringing  in those ballots, handing  them to                                                                    
     us and  we were having  to destroy them and  throw them                                                                    
     away. Plus also,  we heard them say "Hey  look you know                                                                    
     this  was a  decision made  by the  pandemic for  those                                                                    
     people in charge in Juneau."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     Lets see, we had higher numbers  - we had that we also,                                                                    
     because the passion  of the people - trying  to keep it                                                                    
     organized and moving - there  were a lot of people that                                                                    
     were passionate  about the team that  they represented.                                                                    
     That was  another challenge we  faced - trying  to make                                                                    
     sure there was no campaigning  taking place in the area                                                                    
     of the vote being held.  We had to monitor parking lots                                                                    
     -  it was  intense on  both sides.  This was  the first                                                                    
     time  that  we  have  ever had  to  contact  the  State                                                                    
     Troopers to  do drive-bys just  in case of  the passion                                                                    
     and in case  there were conflicts. I  personally had to                                                                    
     ask three  individuals to help monitor  our parking lot                                                                    
     just  for those  reasons, because  of the  passion that                                                                    
     people had for this election.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:59:38 PM                                                                                                                    
     Integrity and security is probably  one of those things                                                                    
     I would  have to say  that is  important if you  are an                                                                    
     American citizen.  Understanding that the  integrity of                                                                    
     any  election  and  the security  of  any  election  is                                                                    
     foremost  - almost  as important,  I would  say as  our                                                                    
     national   defense.  Our   elections  in   our  country                                                                    
     absolutely,  absolutely affect  our  world.  And as  an                                                                    
     election  official,  the   mail-in  ballot  thing,  I'm                                                                    
     extremely  concerned  about.  Just for  the  fact  that                                                                    
     integrity is something that you  do by yourself. How do                                                                    
     we secure  those mail out  ballot? We have a  system in                                                                    
     place   -  it's   an  absentee   that  we   request  in                                                                    
     circumstances  of  which  we  need  them.  That  system                                                                    
     absolutely  has served  good  for  everybody that  I've                                                                    
     ever known.  This mail-in thing  is kind of  creating a                                                                    
     little bit  of a problem and  I can tell you  that that                                                                    
     is a  grave concern and  I can  tell you the  people of                                                                    
     the Kenai  Peninsula Borough definitely sent  a message                                                                    
     saying "Hey, we don't want  that because we want secure                                                                    
     elections."                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SHOWER thanked her for the testimony and said he thought                                                                  
it was germane to hear from a frontline worker to provide                                                                       
context and describe issues they may have seen.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
4:01:45 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR REINBOLD commented that she found it amazing that the                                                                   
borough voted against vote by mail and ballots were sent anyway.                                                                
She thanked Ms. Covey and other election volunteers.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SHOWER asked  what the  Division  of Elections  instructed                                                               
precincts to  do with the  mail-in ballots that voters  handed to                                                               
election workers.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. COVEY  answered that the  instructions were to  destroy those                                                               
ballots.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SHOWER relayed  a  conversation his  office  had with  [an                                                               
election  worker]  from Eagle  who  said  that her  precinct  was                                                               
instructed to  mail all  unused ballots back  to the  Division of                                                               
Elections.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR KAWASAKI asked  Ms. Covey if she said that  people in her                                                               
area received mail-in ballots that they had not requested.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. COVEY answered yes.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR KAWASAKI  asked if any  of those people would  testify to                                                               
that or  sign an  affidavit that lays  out exactly  what happened                                                               
because he would like to get  to the bottom of the complaints. He                                                               
noted  that the  Division  of Election  tracks  the requests  for                                                               
ballots and they  are not supposed to send out  ballots without a                                                               
request. However,  in this last election  the Lieutenant Governor                                                               
did direct the Division of  Elections to send ballot applications                                                               
to people who were age 65 and older.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SHOWER confirmed  that ballot  applications  were sent  to                                                               
anybody over age 65 regardless of request.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR KAWASAKI asked  Ms. Covey to provide more  clarity if she                                                               
could.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SHOWER  asked her to  forward any  supplemental information                                                               
to his office.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. COVEY agreed.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
4:05:27 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SHOWER  asked the  first question on  the list  of possible                                                               
questions for the Division of  Elections. [Copies of this handout                                                               
were in the bill packets.]                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
        1. What protocols does the Division of Elections                                                                        
         utilize that guarantees the most accurate voter                                                                        
         rolls?                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
4:05:53 PM                                                                                                                    
GAIL FENUMIAI,  Director, Division of Elections,  Juneau, Alaska,                                                               
explained  that   the  division  follows  the   list  maintenance                                                               
procedures  in AS  15.07.130. The  division also  receives weekly                                                               
information   from   the  Court   System   to   use  for   felony                                                               
inactivations,  information   from  other  states   about  double                                                               
registrations,   information  from   the   Division  of   Health,                                                               
Analytics,  and Vital  Records related  to  deceased voters,  and                                                               
staff scans  obituaries statewide to identify  deceased voters as                                                               
well  as receiving  this information  directly  from a  relative.                                                               
Alaska   also  participates   in   the  Electronic   Registration                                                               
Information  Center (ERIC)  that uses  a secure  multistate data-                                                               
matching  tool that  is  designed to  improve  accuracy of  voter                                                               
rolls. Further,  registrations are  canceled based  on individual                                                               
requests and  the division  runs internal  duplicate registration                                                               
reports.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SHOWER  asked if  she or the  lieutenant governor  have the                                                               
authority to  use additional  state and  federal databases  or if                                                               
the  legislature would  need to  provide statutory  authority. He                                                               
asked if there  would be any associated costs  if the legislature                                                               
did provide statutory authority to use other databases.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. FENUMIAI deferred the question to the Department of Law.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:08:21 PM                                                                                                                    
CORI  MILLS,  Acting  Deputy Attorney  General,  Civil  Division,                                                               
Department of Law,  Juneau, Alaska, said she  believes that would                                                               
require  a   statutory  change,  but   it  depends  on   how  the                                                               
information is  couched in terms of  confidentiality. She offered                                                               
to look  at the specific databases  he was interested in  to make                                                               
the determination.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SHOWER  solicited a response  from the  representative from                                                               
the Lieutenant Governor's Office.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
JOSH  APPLEBEE, representing  the  Lieutenant Governor's  Office,                                                               
said   Ms.  Mills   and  Ms.   Fenumiai  answered   the  question                                                               
specifically.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SHOWER asked if there were questions.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:09:57 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR KAWASAKI noted  that there were 36 questions  on the list                                                               
and suggested that they could be answered off line.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SHOWER  said  he  was  trying to  give  the  committee  an                                                               
opportunity  to  pose  questions  directly  to  the  Division  of                                                               
Elections  and  the  Lieutenant  Governor's  Office  to  generate                                                               
discussion for the public record.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  KAWASAKI  asked  whether  the  committee  would  receive                                                               
written answers to each of the questions.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SHOWER said  he had not asked for written  responses but he                                                               
was  willing  to  forward  the  questions  to  all  the  relevant                                                               
entities.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR KAWASAKI said  some of the answers should be  part of the                                                               
public  record but  receiving all  the answers  in writing  would                                                               
make the information easier for members to digest.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SHOWER  said he  had been asked  to have  these individuals                                                               
come before  the committee to  answer questions but he  was happy                                                               
to ask for the answers in writing.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  REINBOLD said  she would  prefer to  get the  answers in                                                               
writing.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
4:12:33 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SHOWER said  he was happy to go either  way but the experts                                                               
were here now.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  REINBOLD   asked  Ms.  Fenumiai  why   her  staff  scans                                                               
obituaries and  suggested the division could  instead request the                                                               
official death certificates.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:14:05 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. FENUMIAI replied  the division receives from  the Division of                                                               
Health,  Analytics,  and Vital  Records  a  monthly list  of  the                                                               
individuals who have  death certificates in the  state of Alaska.                                                               
She  said  she  believes  it  is a  legal  question  whether  the                                                               
division can  request the death certificates.  She suggested that                                                               
Ms.  Mills or  Mr. Flynn  might  be able  to respond  now or  the                                                               
division could follow up with a written response.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  REINBOLD recalled  previous  testimony  she thought  was                                                               
from  the Heritage  Foundation listing  possible  ways to  cross-                                                               
reference  voter rolls.  She emphasized  that this  was important                                                               
because the Division of Elections'  work was the foundation for a                                                               
representative republic.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. FENUMIAI said  the division does the best it  can to keep the                                                               
voter records  accurate and  clear under  the constraints  of the                                                               
National  Voter  Registration Act  and  state  law. The  division                                                               
cannot remove voters from the rolls  because they do not vote; it                                                               
requires a  process that is  defined in  both federal law  and AS                                                               
15.07.130.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR REINBOLD asked whether the  division has any way to track                                                               
people who has moved out of state.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS. FENUMIAI answered that moving out  of state does not negate a                                                               
person's  right to  remain a  registered  voter in  the state  of                                                               
Alaska. AS 15.05.020 has an  intent to return provision and there                                                               
are  also some  residency issues  under the  Alaska Constitution.                                                               
She deferred further explanation to the Department of Law.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:17:20 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR REINBOLD described  it as a serious red  flag that people                                                               
remain on the  voter rolls even when they no  longer vote or have                                                               
moved out of state. She asked if she heard this correctly.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. FENUMIAI answered that the  division is able to cancel Alaska                                                               
voter  registrations upon  notification from  another state  that                                                               
somebody registered  to vote and  indicated that  they previously                                                               
registered to vote  in Alaska. The division  also participates in                                                               
the  ERIK  program  that   does  cross-state  voter  registration                                                               
database  matching from  30  member states  and  the District  of                                                               
Columbia. The  list maintenance law  also has  qualifying factors                                                               
for  removing names  such as  undeliverable mail,  not voting  or                                                               
appearing  to  vote  for  two General  Elections,  and  no  voter                                                               
contact.   She  offered   to  send   the  committee   a  detailed                                                               
explanation of the division's list maintenance process.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR REINBOLD  expressed frustration that so  many people were                                                               
receiving ballots when they no  longer live in Alaska, "including                                                               
my kids." She referenced an  earlier presentation that claimed an                                                               
area had more people registered  to vote than the population. She                                                               
emphasized her commitment to find solutions.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:19:29 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR   SHOWER  asked   Ms.  Fenumiai   to  email   the  detailed                                                               
explanation of  the division's list  maintenance process  as well                                                               
as  the response  from the  Department of  Law regarding  part of                                                               
Senator  Reinbold's  question.  He   asked  her  to  clarify  the                                                               
question and who might provide the answer.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS.  FENUMIAI  emphasized  that the  division  takes  voter  roll                                                               
accuracy and list maintenance very  seriously. If the legislature                                                               
wants to change  that process, she said the  division will comply                                                               
so  long  as   the  change  complies  with   the  National  Voter                                                               
Registration  Act. She  suggested that  either Ms.  Mills or  Mr.                                                               
Flynn  talk about  the  intent to  return  language currently  in                                                               
statute.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
4:20:24 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. MILLS cited  the first part of the first  sentence of art. V,                                                               
sec. 1, Constitution of the State of Alaska:                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Every  citizen of  the United  States who  is at  least                                                                    
     eighteen   years  of   age,   who  meets   registration                                                                    
     residency requirements which may be prescribed by law,                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
She explained  that the  requirements that  may be  prescribed by                                                               
law refer  to AS  15.05.020. Rules  for determining  residence of                                                             
voter. She agreed  with Ms. Fenumiai that it is  the intention to                                                             
return, not  a physical  presence in  the district.  She deferred                                                               
further comment to Mr. Flynn.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
4:21:23 PM                                                                                                                    
THOMAS FLYNN,  Assistant Attorney General, Civil  Division, Labor                                                               
& State  Affairs Section, Department  of Law,  Anchorage, Alaska,                                                               
added that there is sometimes  a misconception that a person must                                                               
be a resident for a  certain period, but residency is established                                                               
30  days in  advance of  the  election. Once  residency has  been                                                               
established, the  original address  used to  register to  vote is                                                               
presumed to  remain. Subsequent paragraphs discuss  specific ways                                                               
residency changes.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR REINBOLD said it was still not clear.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
4:22:16 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  KAWASAKI  referenced  the  invited  testimony  from  the                                                               
election  worker  from  Nikiski  and  asked  how  it  could  have                                                               
happened  that people  who did  not request  ballots somehow  got                                                               
ballots.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. FENUMIAI said she  could not think of a way  for that to have                                                               
happened,  because the  division  does not  mail  ballots to  any                                                               
voter unless they first receive  a complete and valid request for                                                               
an absentee by mail application for that voter.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  KAWASAKI  asked,  should  Ms. Covey  supply  the  names,                                                               
whether she  could check to see  if the division had  a record of                                                               
receiving a  valid request  for an absentee  ballot and  that the                                                               
division sent a ballot.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS.  FENUMIAI answered,  "Most  definitely, if  we  had names  of                                                               
individuals we  could look into  our voter  registration database                                                               
to determine if we had an  application on file and/or if a ballot                                                               
was  sent to  a voter."  She  added that  it seems  that a  large                                                               
number of  pre-filled absentee ballot  applications were  sent to                                                               
voters during the Primary and  General Elections and the division                                                               
received many calls from people  who believed they had received a                                                               
ballot. However,  the division  determined "it  was one  of these                                                               
mini,  multiple  by-mail applications  that  were  sent to  their                                                               
home."                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
4:24:22 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SHOWER advised  that his office asked both  the Division of                                                               
Election and the Lieutenant Governor's  Office that same question                                                               
and  they turned  some information  over to  law enforcement.  He                                                               
said  he was  still  waiting  for answers  but  the question  was                                                               
germane  and he  was  very interested  in the  answer.  Was it  a                                                               
ballot or was it an application?                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
4:25:24 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR HOLLAND  noted that his  child moved away from  the house                                                               
about three  years ago and  ballot applications still  arrive for                                                               
that child.  He added that he  voted absentee for the  first time                                                               
this year and he could  understand that people could get confused                                                               
about the difference  between a ballot application  and a ballot.                                                               
He wondered whether some people  misunderstood that they received                                                               
a pre-filled ballot application, not a ballot.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SHOWER said it was a  good point because in addition to the                                                               
state,  organizations are  able to  send out  ballot applications                                                               
and there were more of both this last election cycle.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SHOWER asked question 20  on the list of possible questions                                                               
for the Division of Elections.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     20. Exactly what data was gained by the hack? Security                                                                     
         ID   protocols?    Absentee   applications    data?                                                                    
         Addresses? Drivers License numbers? Last 4 digits                                                                      
         of SSN? Digital signatures?                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SHOWER  further asked if  any of  the data that  was stolen                                                               
was sufficient  to be used on  a fraudulent ballot that  could be                                                               
sent to the Division of Elections.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS. FENUMIAI  answered that the  data that was exposed  was voter                                                               
names, addresses, date  of birth, last four digits  of the Social                                                               
Security number, driver's license  number, state ID number, party                                                               
affiliation, and  email address, all  of which is  also available                                                               
on the Division of Elections' website.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
She clarified  that this  was a  data exposure,  not a  hack. She                                                               
continued  to  say,  "The  outside   actor  was  able  to  access                                                               
information  but was  not  able to  change  any information.  The                                                               
outside   actor  also   had  no   access  to   any  vote-counting                                                               
processes."  Responding  to the  second  question,  she said  the                                                               
division is continuing  to looking into the data  exposure, but a                                                               
review  of the  2020  election found  no  evidence of  fraudulent                                                               
activity. "For  example, there was  not an increase  of duplicate                                                               
voting as one  would expect if this information had  been used in                                                               
a  fraudulent manner,  especially  when the  overall turnout  for                                                               
voting  by mail  and the  overall  turnout for  the election  had                                                               
increased."                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SHOWER restated the question,  asking if any of the exposed                                                               
data was  sufficient to  be used  to fill out  a ballot  that the                                                               
division would accept, assuming that  it was the only ballot from                                                               
that voter.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:29:16 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  FENUMIAI explained  that the  division would  first have  to                                                               
have received  an absentee ballot  application that  included all                                                               
the required  statutory information  for that voter.  Second, the                                                               
returned ballot must have a  voter signature, a voter identifier,                                                               
and  (with  the  exception  of   the  2020  election)  a  witness                                                               
signature.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SHOWER restated the question and asked her to answer.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. FENUMIAI answered  that the division would  accept the ballot                                                               
if the division  had received an application for  the ballot, the                                                               
ballot had  the required information  previously listed,  and the                                                               
ballot was received timely.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:30:34 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SHOWER asked  if the state has any chain  of custody policy                                                               
or process to  know who touches a ballot from  the time it leaves                                                               
the  Division  of  Elections  to  the  time  it  returns  to  the                                                               
division.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. FENUMIAI deferred  the question to Carol  Thompson to discuss                                                               
the details of the absentee process.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
4:31:35 PM                                                                                                                    
CAROL  THOMPSON,  Operations   Manager,  Division  of  Elections,                                                               
Office  of the  Lieutenant Governor,  Wasilla, Alaska,  explained                                                               
that the division tracks receipt  of the ballot application, when                                                               
the ballot  was sent,  and when the  division received  the voted                                                               
ballot. Once  the ballot is  returned, the division  verifies the                                                               
voter's  information  including  the identifier,  signature,  and                                                               
witness signature prior to the 2020 General Election.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SHOWER  asked if there  was a  chain of custody  process to                                                               
allow the  division to know who  touches a ballot when  it leaves                                                               
the Division  of Elections, who  receives the ballot  and returns                                                               
it, and who touches the ballot  during the return to the Division                                                               
of   Elections. He asked, "What  does the division know  from the                                                               
time it leaves the division until it gets it back?                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS. THOMPSON  replied there  is no  tracking per  se, but  if the                                                               
legislature were  to pass legislation requiring  ballot tracking,                                                               
the division would comply to every extent possible.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SHOWER  said his point was  to show that there  is no chain                                                               
of  custody.  He acknowledged  that  it  would require  statutory                                                               
changes to  mandate ballot  tracking and/or  to look  at multiple                                                               
databases to cross-reference voter  registrations. The idea is to                                                               
make the system better, he said.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
4:34:41 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR REINBOLD asked  Ms. Fenumiai if she saw  any anomalies in                                                               
the 2020 General Election and  if she believes that striking down                                                               
the  witness  signature  requirement   could  have  affected  the                                                               
election in any way.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS. FENUMIAI  answered that  she was not  aware of  any anomalies                                                               
and did  not have a  response to  the second question.  She added                                                               
that the division followed the court's direction.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR REINBOLD  again asked for  her opinion in whether  or not                                                               
striking  down  the  witness  signature  requirement  could  have                                                               
affected the election in any way.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
4:35:40 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. FENUMIAI answered  that it was her  professional opinion that                                                               
it did not affect the election.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR REINBOLD asked  who broke into the  election system data,                                                               
how  it happened,  what can  be done  with the  data, and  if the                                                               
problem is fixed.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS.  FENUMIAI said  the division  has  a summary  of the  state's                                                               
preliminary  investigation,  which  explained  that  outside  bad                                                               
actors exploited  a flaw that  allowed the exfiltration  of voter                                                               
information. The  attack was automated  and allowed  quick access                                                               
to "this  PII." The flaw  was fixed  and the division  is working                                                               
with the State Security Office on other security measures.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR REINBOLD  asked who specifically  exposed the  data, what                                                               
that entity can  do with the data, and if  they still have access                                                               
to  that data.  For example,  could  it be  used to  apply for  a                                                               
credit card?                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  FENUMIAI replied  she previously  stated the  data that  was                                                               
exposed.  It was  voter names,  residence and  mailing addresses,                                                               
date of  birth, last four  digits of the Social  Security number,                                                               
driver's license number, state ID  number, party affiliation, and                                                               
email address. She  said she did not know if  someone could get a                                                               
credit card with that information,  the investigation is ongoing,                                                               
and she only  knows that outside actors were  responsible for the                                                               
data exposure.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
4:38:38 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR KAWASAKI  referred to  Section 6  that asks  the division                                                               
director to  provide by regulation  a system to account  for each                                                               
used  and  unused  ballot and  absentee  ballot  certificate  and                                                               
envelope. He  asked how  the division  would create  a regulation                                                               
that  would account  for  the used  and  unused absentee  ballots                                                               
without  being  inside  the  voter's   house  and  watching  what                                                               
happened to those ballots                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. FENUMIAI replied she was  not prepared to respond because the                                                               
division would  first need  to determine  the kind  of regulation                                                               
that would satisfy  the requirement. She added  that the division                                                               
does track  the number  of ballots  that are  mailed out  and the                                                               
ones that are returned.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR KAWASAKI pointed out that  subsection (c) in bill Section                                                               
6  requires the  director  to  account for  each  used or  unused                                                               
ballot  before certifying  the election  under  AS 15.15.450.  He                                                               
asked  if that  would put  the  division director  in a  position                                                               
where certification  of an  election might not  be done  under AS                                                               
15.15.450.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. FENUMIAI answered that could be the case.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR KAWASAKI said  it needs to be easier for  the division to                                                               
administer.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SHOWER  responded that significant changes  are forthcoming                                                               
and the issue  of easier administration could  be discussed after                                                               
that or in the next committee of referral.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
He asked why the state was  paying for protection services if the                                                               
data cannot be used.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS. FENUMIAI said she was  not sure whether the information could                                                               
be used  for financial  gain, but it  was the  voter registration                                                               
vendor  who  paid for  the  credit  monitoring service,  not  the                                                               
state. She suggested that Mr.  Applebee might have something more                                                               
to add.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:42:38 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  SHOWER asked  for  the  name of  the  contractor that  the                                                               
Division  of Elections  used for  the computer  forensics on  the                                                               
data breach.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. FENUMIAI  said she  would follow up  with the  information if                                                               
she was able to release the name.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR.  APLEBEE   agreed  with  Ms.   Fenumiai  that   the  identity                                                               
monitoring service vendor paid, not the state.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SHOWER asked question 14  on the list of possible questions                                                               
for the Division of Elections.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
       14. Can a voter dispute their vote and what is the                                                                       
         process?                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. FENUMIAI said she did not  believe there was process in state                                                               
law for a  voter to dispute their vote. It  is a misconception to                                                               
think  that a  voter  can  ask the  Division  of Elections  which                                                               
candidate  received  their vote  and  then  dispute the  results.                                                               
Ballots are not associated with  specific voters so once a ballot                                                               
is comingled and counted, it cannot be retrieved.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SHOWER  said he wanted  to highlight that some  states have                                                               
the ability to qualify ballots  as opposed to rejecting them. His                                                               
office  is looking  at having  provisions  in place  so that  the                                                               
division can correct a ballot a voter disputes.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SHOWER asked question 15.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     15. Can a person vote twice by mistake? If so, how?                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS.  FENUMIAI  asked if  question  14  was  referring to  a  cure                                                               
provision for people who vote by mail.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SHOWER said that was correct.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS.  FENUMIAI  advised that  the  statutes  do  not have  a  cure                                                               
provision for people who vote by mail.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SHOWER  said his office was  looking at that. He  asked her                                                               
to respond to  question 15 about how someone could  vote twice by                                                               
mistake and how that could negate their vote.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. FENUMIAI  explained that  the division has  a model  to catch                                                               
double  voting,  regardless  of  the  circumstance.  It  was  re-                                                               
implemented with the 2020 elections  by not counting any absentee                                                               
or  question  ballots  until  the  in-person  voter  history  was                                                               
completed. As the absentee and  question ballots were logged, the                                                               
division was  able to  run duplicate  voting reports  to identify                                                               
voters who cast ballots more than once.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:46:26 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  SHOWER noted  that invited  testimony  last week  reported                                                               
that  a woman  in  District  14 had  to  vote  a question  ballot                                                               
because she  was told when  she appeared  in person to  vote that                                                               
she had  already voted. He  noted that the Division  of Elections                                                               
determined  that the  daughter had  voted in  the mother's  name,                                                               
even though the last names were not the same.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SHOWER said he brought  up the foregoing because his office                                                               
had heard that  "there were things in statute" that  needed to be                                                               
addressed to make things better.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
4:47:22 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. FENUMIAI said she believes  that [Jason] Rampton, [Vice Chair                                                               
of  the  District  14  Republican  Party]  brought  that  example                                                               
forward.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SHOWER confirmed  that  Mr. Rampton  related  that to  the                                                               
committee last week. He asked if she had any comment.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. FENUMIAI  replied that the  division determined that  a voter                                                               
signed on Ms.  Ditzler's line on the precinct  register. When she                                                               
came to  vote in person,  she was  informed that she  had already                                                               
voted and  she had  to vote  a question  ballot, "which  was then                                                               
reviewed and counted."                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SHOWER thanked her for the update.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
4:48:20 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  KAWASAKI  said his  questions  relate  to the  automatic                                                               
voter  registration when  someone  applies for  a permanent  fund                                                               
dividend (PFD).  He asked  how it  could happen  that registering                                                               
for  a  PFD  could  change an  individual's  voting  address  and                                                               
prevent that  person from voting  in the subsequent  election. He                                                               
noted that  a committee member  cited this example in  an earlier                                                               
hearing.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS.  FENUMIAI   advised  that  under  the   PFD  automatic  voter                                                               
registration (AVR) program, when individuals  who are 18 years of                                                               
age and  a U.S.  citizen apply  for a  FPD, their  information is                                                               
sent  to the  Division of  Elections and  is used  to update  the                                                               
voter's  record.  If  the  address  on  the  PFD  application  is                                                               
different from the voter registration  address and the individual                                                               
does  not  respond to  a  mailing  from the  division  requesting                                                               
clarification,  the  individual's  address   is  updated  to  the                                                               
address on the PFD application.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR KAWASAKI  summarized that  the information on  a person's                                                               
myPFD account is the default for a voter's address.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS.  FENUMIAI answered  that is  correct,  but there  is also  an                                                               
option on the  online PDF application for the  voter to designate                                                               
the address  they want  to use for  their voter  registration. If                                                               
that  box is  left blank,  the default  is the  residence address                                                               
provided on the PFD application.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR KAWASAKI referred  to the PFD application  he printed for                                                               
himself and pointed  out that it includes  the bolded instruction                                                               
for the  applicant to  enter their  correct residence  address to                                                               
ensure the applicant is assigned  to the correct voting district.                                                               
This is  followed by  the caution that  if the  correct residence                                                               
address is  left blank,  the address entered  earlier on  the PFD                                                               
application would  be used as the  applicant's voter registration                                                               
address, which may change the applicant's voting district.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
He  described   the  written  PFD  application   as  quite  self-                                                               
explanatory;  the applicant  was  responsible for  the change  in                                                               
their voting district.  He asked Ms. Fenumiai if she  was able to                                                               
look  back  and determine  why  an  individual's voting  district                                                               
changed when they had not changed their residence.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS. FENUMIAI  confirmed that the  division would be able  to look                                                               
at the specific voter's residence  address for voter registration                                                               
purposes  and  their  voter  history   if  the  voter's  name  is                                                               
provided. She clarified that a  voter is legally entitled to vote                                                               
a question ballot  at any precinct in the state  if their name is                                                               
not on the precinct register.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR KAWASAKI said he would forward the name.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SHOWER asked  Mr.  Applebee to  discuss  the concern  that                                                               
felons, noncitizens,  and others  who were  not allowed  to vote,                                                               
were being automatically registered.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
4:53:34 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  APLEBEE  recalled that  this  was  discussed in  a  previous                                                               
iteration  of  the  bill and  the  Lieutenant  Governor's  Office                                                               
worked  on the  current language  with the  sponsor's office.  He                                                               
said the  notion is  to ensure  that people  who are  eligible to                                                               
vote  do not  fall  through the  cracks and  people  who are  not                                                               
eligible to vote are removed from the voting rolls.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SHOWER asked if he had  seen examples of people voting when                                                               
they should not  be on the rolls, such as  someone convicted of a                                                               
felony  who   had  not   been  unconditionally   discharged  from                                                               
incarceration,  probation   and  or  parole.  He   asked  him  to                                                               
articulate  the reason  the  Lieutenant  Governor's Office  would                                                               
like the  PFD automatic  voter registration to  be changed  to an                                                               
opt in as opposed to automatic.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. APLEBEE said he would follow  up after he looked at his notes                                                               
from last year and the year before that to refresh his recall.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
4:55:03 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR REINBOLD offered her view  of the 2020 election and asked                                                               
if the statutory requirement for  a witness signature on absentee                                                               
ballots helps improve election integrity.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. FENUMIAI replied  the witness signature has been  viewed as a                                                               
deterrent to voter fraud.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SHOWER  asked for the  number of people registered  to vote                                                               
in Alaska and the number who are eligible to vote.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS.  FENUMIAI reported  that 599,687  people  were registered  to                                                               
vote  as of  February 3,  2021. She  did not  have the  number of                                                               
people eligible  to vote because she  did not have access  to the                                                               
voting age population.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SHOWER  asked if  she used the  term catalyst  or deterrent                                                               
when she answered  Senator Reinbold's question. He  added that he                                                               
thought she said deterrent.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. FENUMIAI confirmed  that she used the  term deterrent, adding                                                               
that  the witness  signature is  used as  a mechanism  to prevent                                                               
fraud.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR KAWASAKI mentioned the court  case and asked if a witness                                                               
intent  on fraud  could  fraudulently enter  a  signature on  the                                                               
witness line.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. FENUMIAI deferred to Ms. Mills to discuss the court case.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. MILLS explained that the  linchpin of the Department of Law's                                                               
argument was  that the  witness signature  was an  important tool                                                               
that the legislature  put into statute to assist  the division in                                                               
the  absentee voter  process. She  acknowledged that  fraud could                                                               
still occur despite that extra step.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  REINBOLD  asked  Ms.  Fenumiai if  she  meant  that  the                                                               
witness signature is a mechanism to prevent voter fraud.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. FENUMIAI replied it is  a deterrent; the state has determined                                                               
that the witness signature is  important to assist in identifying                                                               
the person who cast the ballot.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
5:01:24 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  SHOWER commented  that the  question  about a  potentially                                                               
fraudulent  witness signature  goes back  to his  point that  the                                                               
chain of custody of ballots needs improvement.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SHOWER held SB 39 in committee for future consideration.                                                                  

Document Name Date/Time Subjects