How many email accounts did Sarah Palin use as Alaska governor? Last week, the answer, tallied in an earlier story, was “at least six.” This week, it’s “at least eight.”
Long-time Palin watcher Andrée McLeod wrote Sunlight to point out another address hiding in plain sight. Gov.firstname.lastname@example.org, which Sunlight identified, turns out to be a separate account from email@example.com (note the lack of a dot), which we didn’t. We skipped over that, because some email providers — including Gmail — ignore the dot, treating those as the same account, but a quick test confirmed that Yahoo treats them as separate accounts. Palin’s staff often sent and received messages to and from both addresses, released emails show, and both were used for state business.
Separately, we found another official account, firstname.lastname@example.org.
At this point, counting gets hard, because we don’t know whether Palin maintained these accounts separately or if mail was automatically forwarded into just a few inboxes. For instance, is email@example.com functionally the same as firstname.lastname@example.org? Either way, Palin’s use of many accounts, many of which were private, is clear, even if the accounts themselves obscure Palin's actions as governor. We’ve updated our guide to include all eight addresses.