Division of Elections Fails to Notify Miller Campaign of Absentee Ballot Validation

Anchorage, Alaska. November 6, 2010 — The Joe Miller for U.S. Senate Campaign is concerned that the Absentee Ballot validation process began yesterday at 10 a.m without notification to the campaign. The Miller campaign was told of the news from a Republican Party member approximately 11 a.m. yesterday who was informed of the decision that morning. In an e-mail to the Miller campaign, the Director of the Division of Elections, Gail Fenumiai, stated, “It is not the practice of the division to contact candidates or parties to notify them of the review dates,” even though the DOE’s “Election Observers’ Handbook” [version B14 (Rev 11/07), page 8] provides that the Division must “notify” the campaign “24 hours in advance the time of ballot review….”

In response to this news, Joe Miller said, “Our goal is to uphold the integrity of the voting process. Every vote that is cast correctly should be counted. All Alaskans deserve a free, open and fair election. Unfortunately, the State Division of Elections has decided to call that process into question with the constant maneuvering of dates and procedures.” Since the election Tuesday, the Miller campaign has vowed to oversee the process to its conclusion, to ensure that the voters of Alaska have their rights protected.

Miller went on to say, “The State of Alaska has a statutorily defined election process, anything or anyone that deviates from that process is unsettling. It is fundamental that the public be informed of the ballot review schedule in advance. Our democratic voting process has at its foundation the Constitution and the statutes of this state, and any manipulation of this process for the purposes of expediency or convenience compromises those principles.

Spokesman Randy DeSoto added that “we don’t know how many ballots were reviewed without fair scrutiny.”

The absentee validation is occurring across the state in various locations. It is unclear why the Miller campaign was not notified about the decision to begin validation Friday.