JUNEAU — More than 25,000 Alaska voters may also be registered in other states, and 14 may have voted in two states during the November general election, Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell’s office said Monday.
Treadwell said it’s not clear if those 14 engaged in any type of voter fraud or if the cases will result in prosecution. The Division of Elections is waiting to hear from the other states involved to determine if the individuals actually voted twice or if there was an error of some kind in the data. Treadwell said the cases might involve something as simple as a father and son with the same first and last name.
Alaska joined 21 other states for the cross-check of voter rolls. Division Director Gail Fenumiai said this was the first time the state had participated in the large-scale effort. Prior reviews had been done with Oregon and Washington, but did not turn up any cases of duplicate voting, she said.
Fenumiai said in Alaska, the onus is on the voter to notify the division when they move.
“I think our system is a very secure and safe system,” Fenumiai said, adding that she believes Alaska has “very good checks and balances, and a very good record” of voter fraud not being a problem.
Of the roughly 25,400 records identified as possible duplicates, more than 11,400 had a more current voter registration outside Alaska and have been sent notices to confirm the match and to ask that they cancel their Alaska registrations, Treadwell’s office said in a news release. The remaining records were more current in Alaska. Those individuals will be contacted by the other states and asked to cancel their registrations in those states.
Treadwell said the overall number involved was “surprisingly large.” But he said the administration isn’t seeking any new laws or changes other than the elections bill proposed by the governor earlier this year that, among other things, would move up the primary and make some changes surrounding absentee voting. Treadwell said the state also is planning to overhaul and upgrade its voter registration system and is looking, as part of that, at using or having access to a photo database and having access to real-time voter history.
“What we’re trying to do is not disenfranchise anybody who comes to the polls,” he said.
The administration did not request the voter ID bill currently pending in the Alaska House, he said.