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Alaska Senate candidate raises voter fraud concerns

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Joe Miller, holding a slim lead in the Alaska Senate Republican primary with Sen. Lisa Murkowski that is still too-close-to-call, has asked state officials to investigate accusations of possible voter fraud.

Miller’s attorney, who also represents former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin,  has requested state troopers be sent to regional offices where ballots are being counted “to enforce and protect the integrity of the electoral process.”

Attorney Thomas Van Flein, in a letter dated Sunday to Alaska Lt. Gov. Craig Campbell and state Elections Division Director Gail Fenumiai, accused a Murkowski ballot observer of trying to bring a large bag into the office where ballots were being counted in violation of state election law. The observer was stopped by an election official, but “the effort to even try to bring a bag into this area was concerning, since this is one way ballots could ‘appear’ or ‘disappear,’” the attorney said.

Flein then said that Murkowski observer, identified only as “Mike,” was allowed access to a state computer for 20 minutes before he was ordered off. He said the observer reportedly accessed the state’s election management system while on the computer.

Flein said he worries that the observer potentially could have made changes to voter records in the state’s Diebold election software system.

“The Diebold software contains vulnerabilities that may allow someone to install malicious electronic software,” the attorney said. “Software installed into the election management system could lead, according to [a state report], to ‘large scale election fraud.’”

Flein added that, once the observer was asked off the computer, he seen texting on a cellular telephone, a violation of state law if the information relayed was voter related.

The Anchorage Daily News reported Monday that Murkowski campaign manager John Bitney denied that the observer was using a state computer at the office. Bitney also said the man wasn’t texting voter information.

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