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Treadwell Signs Up for A Racially Targeted Voter Hit list

Zach D RobertsAsk any Alaskan what the Lt. Governor does and the best answer that one might say is ‘protecting the Seal of Alaska.’ That’s Sec. 44.09.015. for those keeping track at home. The other somewhat important item that the Lt. Governor does – is oversee elections.

For some reason that’s not talked about too much. When Mead Treadwell ran unsuccessfully for Senate earlier this year it was briefly discussed that he should step down at Lt. Gov. as he would, if we won the nomination be overseeing his own election. But in the end he said he wouldn’t. Because, you know we can trust him. What was that famous Stalin quote? Something like “It’s not the people who vote that count. It’s the people who count the votes”

Or as The Mudflats discovered, in this case, it’s the people that count the voter registrations.

Crosscheck1“The Kansas Project”

Earlier this year Richard Mauer of the (then) Anchorage Daily News wrote about Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach talking with Treadwell. What they talked about was Alaska signing on to the voter registration crosscheck list that the right wing inventor of SB1070 and pusher of Voter ID laws had started… called “Interstate Crosscheck” or “The Kansas Project.”

“Kobach told the Daily News it was he who suggested to Treadwell that Alaska get involved in the Kansas project. “I personally talked to Mead Treadwell, your lieutenant governor, and encouraged him to join, and he did so,” Kobach said.”

In a 6 month long investigation Al Jazeera America, Greg Palast and myself uncovered that this list is not some well intentioned program to clean up the voter rolls. It’s a racially targeted list of common names that could puts over 3 million people at risk of losing their right to vote. Alaska has, according to documents we received 35,936 people their Crosscheck lists. According to Gail Fenumiai, Director of Elections in Alaska, no one has been purged from the Alaska voter rolls based on the Crosscheck info. Al Jazeera is still waiting for Alaska to respond to an open records request placed on October 24th for the full Crosscheck lists. [Just minutes after making this post live, I received the Alaska Crosscheck lists from Gail Fenumiai, amazingly on a Sunday. Hats off to the office for striving to get the request through before the election. Thanks from TheMudflats goes to Gail.] We do have, thanks to previous open records requests thousands of names from that matches Alaska with other states, such as Virginia, Washington and Georgia.

What we’ve found is two fold –

First: The lists are massively unbelievably flawed. Voters with similar names are matched, except that the list does not match middle names, doesn’t take into consideration Jr. or Sr. So you end up with ‘matches’ like these:

  • Kevin Antonio Hayes of Durham, North Carolina, is a match for a man who voted in Alexandria, Virginia, as Kevin Thomas Hayes.
  • John Paul Williams of Alexandria is supposedly the same man as John R. Williams of Atlanta, Georgia.
  • Robert Dewey Cox of Marietta, Georgia is matched with Robert Glen Cox of Springfield, Virginia.

Second: The list is racially charged. At Al Jazeera America’s request, Mark Swedlund, who is a specialist in list analytics whose clients have included eBay, AT&T and Nike, conducted a statistical review of Crosscheck’s three lists of suspected double voters.

“It appears that Crosscheck does have inherent bias to over-selecting for potential scrutiny and purging voters from Asian, Hispanic and Black ethnic groups. In fact, the matching methodology, which presumes people in other states with the same name are matches, will always over-select from groups of people with common surnames.” Swedlund sums up the method for finding two-state voters — simply matching first and last name — as “ludicrous, just crazy.” 

Now that Alaska is not required to pre-clear election changes, thanks to the lawsuit that Attorney General Dan Sullivan

HelenButlerQuoteTransparency in Elections

In Georgia we talked to several elected officials, none of which had ever heard of this program. In Ohio we talked to county officials who hadn’t either. Alaskan politicos seemingly are equally out of the loop. I spoke to two State Senators off the record who expressed dismay at what we had discovered and who had not heard of the program being installed in Alaska until now.

In states across the country elections offices, mostly run by Republican election officials have been agreeing to this program without the knowledge or agreement of the states elected officials. Some states like Virginia have been purging voters from these lists – Virginia alone took out 41,637. While Alaska has claimed that no one has yet been purged based on this list – many states, are blending the data with other sources of information.

The Voting Rights Act

With an administration that sued the Federal Government to rid itself of the pre-clearance provision of the Voting Rights Act all this is extremely worrying. While Alaska does not have large percentages of Black and Hispanic populations it does have a large Native population which much like Blacks, Hispanics and Asians have similar names. Check out this list.

Mead Treadwell has only had a year without an effective Voting Rights Act and has already signed up for this Crosscheck list created by the man who has pushed Voter ID across the country, racist ‘paper’s please’ laws in Arizona and Georgia. With Mead on his way out one must look at the options for his replacement.

Read the story at Al Jazeera America for more info on this list and the people fighting it.

Zach D Roberts




5 Responses to “Treadwell Signs Up for A Racially Targeted Voter Hit list”
  1. Pinwheel says:

    Greg Palast and Al Jazeera are treasures. Right up there with Mudflats !! Thanx.

  2. aussiebluesky says:

    That data base is a POS, it’s not a list of anything and has zero legitimacy.

    I hope the lawyers are out and about on Tuesday.

  3. Zyxomma says:

    I read the Al Jazeera story. I am horrified by all the voter suppression going on in our republic. I stinks, loudly.

    • I agree…!! It should not be. Every effort should be made to make it as easy as legally possible to ENCOURAGE people to vote. And to assist them in that effort!

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] In October and November of 2014 I was on assignment for Al Jazeera America, working with Greg Palast. We were on the trail of the 2016 vote theft. If you haven’t read it by now please check out our Sidney Award winning article on Kris Kobach’s voter registration purge program, Crosscheck and the followup on activists responses. Along the way I discovered that Alaska was in on the scheme and reported the story for TheMudflats – read it here. […]

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