A disturbing story about the just-completed race for Mayor in Anchorage:
For Anchorage election workers, this month’s mayoral runoff was like no other. Citizen observers crowded outside the Election Center, photographing workers and writing down their license plate numbers. Inside, they filed challenge after challenge to routine counting procedures.
At times, the observers grew openly hostile. Several officials were “accosted” in the parking lot, according to the city clerk’s office. Emailed threats poured in, with one announcing that election officials “should be publicly executed.”
Meanwhile, the clerk’s office said, false claims flowed on local talk radio and blogs about “blank ballots” being smuggled into the Election Center, part of an effort to “sow distrust among voters.” Dave Bronson, the Republican candidate, parked an RV outside the center to provide 24/7 surveillance.
The result, according to a report released this week by the Anchorage city clerk, was “unprecedented harassment of election officials.”…
Voting by mail, which grew in popularity during the pandemic, has particularly drawn the ire of conservatives due to Trump’s baseless attacks on the process. Anchorage has for years used a universal mail-in system, sending ballots to every registered voter in the city. But during the campaign, the Daily News reported, Bronson supporters repeatedly questioned and attacked the mail-in procedures….
Dunbar’s campaign warned that the observers’ tactics against officials were aimed at casting false doubt on the election — and could have led to serious conflict had Bronson lost.
“The national playbook is happening right here in this little election, too. It’s alarming to see it even on this level,” Claire Shaw, Dunbar’s campaign manager, told The Post. “If the election doesn’t go your way, then you can claim it’s fraud.”