Division Of Elections Corrected Bethel Election Results On State Website

Nov 7, 2020

Voting stickers are offered to voters at the Bethel polling site on Election Day. Nov. 3, 2020.
Credit Katie Basile / KYUK

Votes from Bethel Precinct 2 were incorrectly posted on the Alaska Division of Elections website when initially released. The division has corrected the results.

The initial, incorrect results showed zero votes for former Vice President Joe Biden and only three votes for President Donald Trump. The presidential candidate shown with the most votes was Independent Brock Pierce, followed closely by Libertarian candidate Jo Jorgensen. In the U.S. Senate race, Republican incumbent Dan Sullivan only received 43 votes.

Former elections chairperson for Bethel Precinct 2, Mark Jones, noticed the results when reviewing ballot returns on the Alaska Division of Elections website.

“It just looked extremely, extremely odd,” he said when reviewing the results.

He notified the Regional Elections Supervisor, Angelique Horton. In an email to Jones on Nov. 6, she wrote, “We have received a copy of the tape for Bethel No. 2 and indeed there was an error in where the results were entered when called in.”

Horton wrote that the division would correct the results “immediately,” but the corrected results would not appear on the division’s website until Nov. 10. However, the results were corrected on the website by at least Nov. 7.

Job Hale served as the Bethel Elections Chairperson. In an email to Hale, Horton wrote that, “there was an error in the reporting of results. It may have been my staff who recorded in the wrong order.”

The corrected results from Bethel Precinct 2, with absentee and questioned ballots not yet counted, show that on election day at the polls, most Democratic candidates received barely more votes than Republicans. The results have not yet been certified by the Alaska Division of Elections.

You can view a copy of the voting tape from Election Day from Bethel Precinct 2 here.

Clarification: The original version of this story stated that election night results from Bethel Precinct 2 were “incorrectly reported” and that “an error occurred when reporting the results on Election Night.” The story has provided more context on how that error occurred.