Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Alaskan village with biggest increase in voter turnout to receive $10K--but not white majority towns

Indigenous Alaskans tend to vote Democratic. White Alaskans lean Republican. So it's troubling that a group is offering money to villages comprising of First Alaskans is only eligible for a voting turnout prize.

From Must Read Alaska:
The Native village with the highest increase in voter turnout will receive a prize of $10,000 for its school from the First Alaskans Institute. European-heritage settlements need not apply.

That is according to an Alaska Native who works at the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation, although no announcement has been made by the First Alaskans Institute on the organization’s website.

Three members of the Walker Administration sit on the 10-member board of the Institute: Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott, Al Kookesh, a special assistant to the governor, and Valerie Davison, commissioner of Health and Social Services. Elizabeth Medicine Crow is the CEO and president.
The runner up village receives $5,000--bot prizes end up with local schools.

Apparently, according to Must Read Alaska, this cash-for-votes is not illegal.

Why hasn't Chicago come up with a scheme like this?

Since Must Read Alaska's post, the story has a new twist. Bill Walker, an independent, is Alaska's governor. He's up for reelection. His running mate until yesterday was the aforementioned Mallott, a Democrat and the incumbent lieutenant governor. It would seem that Mallott would have a conflict of interest here as he sits on the board of the vote-rewarding group. But yesterday Mallott unexpectedly resigned over "inappropriate comments." The nature of those comments has not been made public although a spokesman for the governor says the remarks involve an "inappropriate overture to a woman."

It's easy to see why so many reality shows are set in the Alaska.

Thanks to an Alaska resident for sending this story tip.

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