I just received a response from the Division on Elections on the allegation by the Miller campaign. The division will be putting out a formal response with more detail, which I will post as soon as I receive a copy.
From Sean Cockerham in Anchorage –
The Alaska Division of Elections is preparing a formal response to Miller campaign lawyer Thomas Van Flein’s allegation (see below) of “possible voter tampering” by a Lisa Murkowski ballot observer.
But Alaska Division of Elections Director Gail Fenumiai just told me that a major part of the allegation against Murkowski elections consultant Mike Roman appears to be incorrect. Fenumiai said the information she has received from the Elections Division’s Wasilla office is that Roman was not on the state computer with the Division of Elections voter database.
Fenumiai said Roman would not have been able compromise the state’s election management system regardless. “There is no GEM server in the Wasilla office so there’s no way the state ballot tabulation system was compromised,” Fenumiai said.
She said Roman was apparently texting in the ballot room, which is against the rules. He also tried to bring a bag into the room but that was not allowed, she said. Fenumiai said she is working on verifying the allegation that Roman wrote voter identification information in his observer handbook.
The Division of Elections confiscated the handbook so that should be easy enough to determine.
Note: I’ve updated the post with a response from the Murkowski campaign. It’s included below the description of Van Flein’s complaint
Anchorage lawyer Tom Van Flein, working for the campaign of Republican Senate challenger Joe Miller, is alleging possible vote tampering and asking for state troopers to be dispatched to all the regional elections offices.
The campaign of Sen. Lisa Murkowski disputed the assertions, and Murkowski issued a statement this afternoon saying she was “astounded” at his claims and calling on him to stop making them.
Van Flein (who is also Sarah Palin’s personal lawyer) is basing his complaint on the actions at the Mat-Su elections office of a Murkowski observer that he identifies as “Mike.” Van Flein writes in his complaint that “Mike” tried to bring a large bag into the room, against instructions, which Van Flein describes as a way to make ballots “disappear.”
Van Flein alleges Mike then insisted he had the right to access the Division of Elections voter database and “check voter records.” Van Flein says that, over the Miller campaign’s objection, Mike was allowed to use the state computer for 20 minutes before Division of Elections Director Gail Fenumiai ordered him off.
“For 20 minutes this Murkowski observer was in the state’s voter records viewing private information and, we are told, accessed the state’s election management system.”
Van Flein says in his complaint that the state’s Diebold voting software “contains vulnerabilities that may allow someone to install malicious software to discount votes.”
“How do we determine if software was not installed? Does this not require a hand count of ballots at this point or an IT audit to verify that no information was accessed, no software installed an no virus exists in the system,” Van Flein wrote.
Van Flein also alleges that “Mike” was texting inside the ballot room while reviewing voter information, which is against the rules, and was writing the information down when his Iphone battery died. Van Flein says the state then discovered voter identification information inside “Mike’s” observer handbook.
“Based on this information, which you can verify with your Division personnel…we urgently ask for your review and we ask that state Troopers be posted at each regional office until the ballots are secured,” Van Flein wrote in the complaint.
The complaint was addressed to Lt. Gov. Craig Campbell, who is in charge of overseeing elections, and to Alaska Division of Elections Director Gail Fenumiai.
I’ll ask the state Division of Elections and the Murkowski campaign how they respond to this complaint.