ANCHORAGE (February 19, 2020) – Advocates of more fair and transparent elections in Alaska urged the Alaska Supreme Court to uphold a lower court ruling which found the initiative to be constitutional, and allowed it to move forward to the 2020 ballot. The initiative, sponsored by Alaskans for Better Elections, is aimed at giving more power, more choice, and more voice to Alaska voters through stricter campaign finance rules, ranked-choice voting, and open primaries. A Superior Court judge ruled in October that the state had incorrectly stopped the initiative, but the Attorney General appealed that decision to the state’s highest court.
“The ultimate legal question here is whether the initiative is consistent with Alaska’s single-subject rule, and the Superior Court said the answer is “yes,'”, Alaskans for Better Elections Campaign Manager Shea Siegert said. “We are confident that the Supreme Court will agree, and that Alaskans will have the opportunity to improve our elections process in November.”
In August of 2019, Attorney General Kevin Clarkson released an opinion that the election reform initiative was unconstitutional under the single-subject rule, contrary to decades of established precedent regarding initiatives. As a result, the Lieutenant Governor attempted to prevent the Better Elections committee from gathering signatures to put the issue before voters, but Superior Court Judge Yvonne Lamoureux ruled that the Attorney General’s analysis was incorrect. She required the state to issue signature booklets and continue the certification process as the state appealed to the Supreme Court. Alaskans for Better Elections gathered and submitted over 41,000 signatures from registered Alaska voters to allow the measure to appear on the November ballot.
A decision is expected in the coming weeks.
Alaskans for Better Elections is a ballot committee that’s working to put the power of Alaskan elections in the hands of Alaskan voters to make our elections more open, transparent, and fair. This communication was paid for by Alaskans for Better Elections, PO Box 210295, Anchorage, Alaska 99521. Jason Grenn, Chair, approved this message. The Top 3 contributors are Unite America, Denver, CO; Action Now Initiative, Houston, TX; Represent.Us, Florence, MA.