SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


AK-GOP Claim Illegalities in Primary Election; Democrats to AK-GOP, Stop Meddling in Our Primary


September 01, 2016
Thursday PM

(SitNews) Anchorage, Alaska - Alaska Republican Party Chairman Tuckerman Babcock sent a letter to the director of the Alaska Division of Elections yesterday, cautioning her against certifying the Aug. 16 primary results for Alaska's District 40.

Alaska Republican Party Chairman
Tuckerman Babcock
Photo courtesy AK-GOP

jpg Alaska Democratic Party Chair 
Casey Steinau

Alaska Democratic Party Chair
Casey Steinau

His letter to Director Josie Bahnke outlines several problems that make it impossible for the State of Alaska to credibly certify that race. There are 21 votes separating candidate Dean Westlake from Ben Nageak, the sitting House of Representatives member.

“In Shungnak, every registered Democrat was illegally given a Republican ballot and they were allowed to cast that ballot,” Babcock wrote. There is simply no way for you to determine the actual, legal vote in the Democrat State House primary in District 40.”

Babcock outlined the solution of having a new election in District 40 and petitioned Bahnke to “not certify what you do not know to be true.”

Alaska Democratic Party Chair Casey Steinau today said in a prepared statement in response to Republican Party Chairman Tuckerman Babcock’s call for the State to invalidate the Democratic Primary election results for the HD 40 state representative, “The Republican Party has taken inappropriate, though not unprecedented action, to stifle the voices of another rural Alaskan community. Republican Party Chairman Tuckerman Babcock has taken it upon himself to advocate for the dismissal of all votes from Shungnak in District 40. This attempt to meddle in a Democratic Primary and silence rural Alaska is a blatant overstep by Republican leadership, designed to undermine a result they don’t like. After arguing to defund rural public radio, threatening to shut down rural schools, and ignoring rural infrastructure needs, the Republican Party is once again disregarding the needs and voices of rural Alaskans."

“If the Republican Party wanted to have a candidate appear on the November ballot, then their candidate should have run as a Republican," said Steinau.

“It is unnecessary to invalidate the election or have another vote as Republicans are advocating," said Steinau,"because errors that have been identified didn’t change the outcome in any race.

“The people of District 40 have spoken and we must respect that. If Mr. Babcock succeeds in undermining their voice, that would be the real failure of this election,” said " said Steinau.

Responding to a request by the Alaska Democratic Party that the Division of Elections certify the election in District 40, Alaska Republican Party Chairman Babcock said today in a prepared statement, “The Democratic machine in Anchorage has stooped to a new low by calling the primary a 'Democratic Primary.' It’s very clear that the ADL ballot is an open ballot, available for all voters to use if they so choose. That ballot is open to Republicans, Libertarians, and undeclared voters. That is want the Democrats publicly claim they want."

Babcock said, “The Division of Elections has admitted that voters in District 40 were allowed to vote two ballots in violation of Alaska law. The Republican ballot is a closed ballot, not available to members of other organized parties, but only to Republicans, nonpartisans, and undeclared voters."

“We believe all voters in rural Alaska should be able to vote in a legal election,” Babcock said. “And we have provided the Division of Elections with appropriate remedies for solving the problems that the Division created when it allowed illegal voting to occur.”

“Not only in Shungnak, but in the Barrow precincts as well, the process was so flawed that no one knows how the people really voted. Casey Steinau’s assertion that the vote outcome would have been no different if people had been allowed to vote legally is just baseless guessing," Babcock said.

“Steinau says the people of District 40 have spoken. Well, the voters tried, but the Division of Elections messed up. Many voters were confused, told they could not vote when the law said they could, and even voted twice when they should have voted once," said Babcock

“It’s stunning that the chair of the Democratic Party would want her favored candidate to win so badly that she openly endorses illegal voting,” Babcock said.

Babcock has been an Alaskan since 1966 and has lived in Ketchikan, Juneau, Anchorage, Wasilla, Bethel, Unalaska, and Kenai/Soldotna.

Steinau lives in Big Lake and is currently a member of the Mat-Su MLK Jr. Foundation, advisory board member of the Mat-Su Food Bank, and board member of the Big Lake Community Council.


On the Web:

Read the Alaska GOP Party's letter sent to the Director of the Division of Elections.

Read the Alaska Democratic Party's letter sent to the Director of the Division of Elections.


Reporting & Editing by Mary Kauffman, SitNews


Source of News:

Alaska Republican Party

Alaska Democrats



Representations of fact and opinions in comments posted are solely those of the individual posters and do not represent the opinions of Sitnews.


Submit A Letter to SitNews

Contact the Editor

SitNews ©2016
Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska

 Articles & photographs that appear in SitNews may be protected by copyright and may not be reprinted without written permission from and payment of any required fees to the proper sources.

E-mail your news & photos to

Photographers choosing to submit photographs for publication to SitNews are in doing so granting their permission for publication and for archiving. SitNews does not sell photographs. All requests for purchasing a photograph will be emailed to the photographer.