Treadwell Says Alaska Should be Removed from National Report
September 27, 2012, Anchorage, AK – Lieutenant Governor Mead Treadwell today refuted conclusions of a national report accusing Alaska of voter suppression. The report “Latino Voter Disenfranchisement in 2012” was published by the Advancement Project based in Washington, D.C., whose Co-Director is Judith Brown Dianis. The report claims Alaska is one of 23 states that “currently has legal barriers that disproportionately impact voter registration and participation by Latino citizens.” The report says Alaska does this by requiring proof of citizenship for voter registration and a practice of purging its voter registration rolls.
In a letter to Brown Dianis, the lieutenant governor defends the state’s purging process by laying out the multiple steps the state takes to ensure no eligible voter is removed from the voter rolls. “Our goal is clear – we need to ensure integrity in the election process and ensure that elections are accessible to all eligible voters,” Treadwell said.
Treadwell said his door is open to meet with any voter group concerned about disenfranchisement. He said he hopes to attend the Hispanic Heritage Family Day in Anchorage on October 7th and will offer a voter registration table if organizers allow it.
Treadwell details the many ways his office is helping Alaskans vote by ensuring new polling places are identified after redistricting, and issuing new voter ID cards to all voters. Those cards include a QR code that takes voters with smart phones right to a website with polling places and voting information. In addition, enhanced electronic ballot delivery is making it easier for military voters to vote, and activities such as National Voter Registration day, Youth Ambassador Programs and mock elections are focused on getting young Alaskans registered and voting.
“If Alaskans don’t vote on November 6, it won’t be because they’ve been unjustly removed from the voter register or because it’s difficult to do so, Treadwell said.” “My office is making sure that’s just not the case.”
The letter is copied to Vince Beltrami, President of the AFL-CIO who issued a press release on the report also critical of Alaska law.