Denying election results doesn't help the country

The 2020 presidential election is over. Multiple judges in multiple federal and state courts have ruled multiple times against frivolous claims of voter fraud, conspiracy, computer hacking and criminal intent.

Courts, prosecutors, most members of Congress, even former President Donald Trump’s attorney general all agreed there is no evidence that the election was stolen.

No matter how much some want to believe otherwise, Joe Biden was legitimately elected president of the United States. Certainly, he could lose the job in 2024, but in an election, not a coup staged by a band of conspiracy theorists led by a businessman who sells pillows for a living.

Sadly, the unfounded claims of 2020 election fraud are alive in this year’s race for governor and lieutenant governor of Alaska. The state has bigger problems than for candidates to defend Trump’s big lie, including dealing with inadequate school funding and student achievement, an out-of-whack budget, and the fact that more people have been leaving Alaska than moving here for the past nine years.

When asked whether they believe Trump’s claims of election fraud, several candidates for the job of lieutenant governor — which oversees the state Division of Elections — said they believe Trump won his reelection bid.

Republican Charlie Pierce, Kenai Peninsula Borough mayor, who is running for governor, has said he believes Trump won the 2020 election. His running mate, Eddie Grunwald, is skeptical of Biden’s win as well. “It just didn’t make much sense” to go to sleep thinking that Trump was ahead, only to wake up and see him behind, Grunwald said.

As if there is a law that says ballot counting cannot extend past her bedtime.

Republican candidate for governor, Rep. Christopher Kurka, of Wasilla, has said he believes Trump’s claims. Paul Hueper, running for lieutenant governor with Kurka and who attended the pro-Trump protests preceding the Jan. 6, 2021, riots at the U.S. Capitol, has said, “There’s an immense amount of evidence that the fraud was there. … Yeah, there was definitely reason to suspect the election.”

A couple more candidates for governor and lieutenant governor who failed to advance from the primary to the Nov. 8 general election also have gone on record questioning the 2020 vote totals.

But the most disappointing answer to news media inquiries about the presidential election came from Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s running mate, former state legislator, former head of the state prison system Nancy Dahlstrom.

Her response was a non-answer. Dahlstrom “won’t be commenting on questions related to Alaska’s or the national election,” a campaign spokesman said.

A noncomittal response to defend a proven fair election is a poor excuse for defending democracy. Alaska candidates need to do better than that.

— Wrangell Sentinel


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