Ballot measure enacting new elections practices pulls ahead

alaskans In the News

ICYMI: Read in the Fairbanks Daily News Miner

A ballot measure aimed at diluting the influence of political parties and dark money in Alaska politics is gaining speed as ballot counting for the 2020 state election goes into the weekend.

The latest update time stamped at 4:29 p.m. on Friday shows Ballot Measure 2 is up by 1,141 votes, according to the Alaska Division of Elections.

The margin is razor thin — 50.18% to 49.82% — and ballot counting is expected to continue at least to Sunday, according to a schedule provided by Tiffany Montemayor, elections division public relations manager.

Ballot Measure 2 sets new campaign finance rules, creates an open primary system for most elections and enacts ranked-choice voting for general elections.

The committee Yes on 2 for Better Elections has the support of more than a dozen past and present state legislators.

Defend Alaska Elections, opposing the ballot measure, includes former U.S. Sen. Mark Begich, a Democrat, and former Gov. Sean Parnell, a Republican.

On Wednesday, the measure trailed by 10,000 votes. By close of business Thursday, it led by almost 500 votes and kept pulling ahead.

The measure requires any entity that receives over $2,000 in a year from a donor, and spends money to influence an election, to disclose receipts from the donor. Candidates would no longer be required to list a party or group affiliation. At state elections, voters would rank candidates in order of preference.