Democrats File Lawsuit To
Get 2004 Election Records
April 19, 2006
Anchorage - The Alaska Democratic Party filed suit in Superior
Court Tuesday seeking to force the Division of Elections to release
public records needed to verify the 2004 election results.
"We are asking the court to release these public records
so that the people of Alaska can be assured that their votes
were counted correctly," said Alaska Democratic Party Chair
Jake Metcalfe. "The Division of Elections' numbers do not
add up. The Division has refused to release the public records
that would allow us to verify the results. All we ask is that
the Lt. Governor and the Director of Elections follow the law
and meet their obligation to Alaskans so every one knows why
these numbers don't add up."
The Alaska Democratic Party
has been trying since last year to get the public records of
the election in order to find out why there are numerous errors
and discrepancies in the state's reported results of the 2004
general election. The Division of Elections' latest excuse for
refusing to release the election information is that it would
create "security risks."
"Nothing we have asked for compromises security," Metcalfe
said. ""Why is the Division of Elections is so reluctant
to provide these public records? What are they trying to hide?"
According to the Division of
Elections' vote reports that were produced by the state's Diebold
computer system and are posted on the Division's official web
site, a far larger number of votes were cast than the official
totals reported in the statewide summary. In the case of President
George Bush's votes, the district-by-district totals add up to
292,267, but his official total was only 190,889, a difference
of 101,378 votes. In the U.S. Senate race, Lisa Murkowski received
226,992 votes in the district-by-district totals, but her official
total was only 149,446, a difference of 77,546 votes.
In 20 of the 40 State House Districts, more ballots were cast
than there are registered voters in the district, according to
information on the state's web site. In 16 election districts,
the voter turnout percentage shown is over 200%.
"Alaskans must have an accurate accounting of the 2004 election
results. "The accountability of our election system is at
stake. Confidence in the integrity of our elections is fundamental
to our democracy," Metcalfe said.
The ADP filed a formal public records request on Dec. 19, 2005,
seeking the "central tabulator data file" taken from
the Diebold-supplied computer used to run the "GEMS"
(Global Election Management Software) application. This is the
electronic file containing all final vote tallies for the 2004
Under the public records regulations, the Division was supposed
to release the data file on Jan. 4. On Jan. 4 the Division extended
the deadline until Jan. 19.
In a Jan. 19 letter, the Division asserted that the file was
proprietary information belonging to its contractor, Diebold
In a Feb. 3 letter, the Division advised the Democrats that Diebold
had agreed to waive its proprietary rights to the GEMS database
files, and said that the records would be provided if it determined
that the integrity of the election system could be protected.
In the Feb. 3 letter the Division asked for an additional 10-day
extension until Feb. 13, and the Democrats agreed. On Feb. 13,
the Division again extended the deadline to Feb. 27. In a letter
dated Feb. 22, the Division denied the Democrats' public records
request, citing "security risks."
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