Anchorage Assembly issues subpoenas to former city executives involved in election challenge

Anchorage Votes banner and election observer sign
Signs and yellow tape on the floor mark out where election observers and other visitors are free to move about inside the Anchorage Election Center, pictured here on March 13, 2023. (Jeremy Hsieh/Alaska Public Media)

The Anchorage Assembly has subpoenaed four people to provide testimony on an April challenge to the city’s election. Two of the people are former executives in Mayor Dave Bronson’s administration: Sami Graham, who once served as chief of staff, and Marc Dahl who resigned from his job as IT director last week. 

The Assembly is compelling Graham, Dahl and two election observers, John Henry and Daniel Smith, to testify at a meeting Friday at City Hall. 

Anchorage ombudsman Darrell Hess had been investigating Graham and Dahl, and allegations that they coordinated to try to overturn the city’s election results. The issue stems from an election challenge filed by Graham. In her complaint, she cited an unvetted IT policy dealing with the transfer of information on USB drives.

In Hess’ report released last month, he said Dahl sent Graham the policy on the day of her complaint. He concluded that Dahl fed Graham information to help her formulate challenges to the city election, and he recommended Dahl be fired. He also sent his findings to the state Office of Special Prosecutions, citing potential violations of state elections laws. 

Bronson later requested Dahl’s resignation, though he has maintained that he doesn’t think Dahl did anything illegal. 

Assembly members say they still have a lot of questions about the election challenge, including whether any other Bronson executives were involved and whether city election laws need to be revised to prevent further “subversion.”

In a rare move, the Assembly gave itself subpoena powers earlier this month to get answers.

Wesley Early covers Anchorage life and city politics for Alaska Public Media. Reach him at and follow him on X at @wesley_early. Read more about Wesley here.

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