The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled definitively on the constitutionality of the open primaries model proposed in Ballot Measure 2.
In Washington State Republican Party v. Washington State Grange, the highest court in the land found that an open primary system did not violate the political parties’ First Amendment right of association. Because the purpose of the primary is a public election to determine the front runners – and not to choose party nominees – the Supreme Court found no First Amendment violation of association.
Writing for the majority in the 7-2 decision, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas emphasized the right of the State and its voters to determine what electoral system they wanted to implement. Justice Thomas wrote that whether parties nominate their own candidates outside the state-run primary is simply irrelevant. He also rejected the argument that an open primary would confuse voters as to who the parties’ nominees were, noting that there was no evidence to support the claim and expressed doubt that an informed electorate could so easily be misled.
We too believe our fellow Alaskans are not so easily misled and possess the intelligence to choose the candidate they prefer, regardless of party affiliation.
Ballot Measure 2 creates an open, nonpartisan primary where all candidates appear on a single ballot. Candidates can choose to list their political affiliation next on the ballot or identify as “undeclared” or “nonpartisan.”
It’s clear that the Alaska Republican Party is out of step with Republican voters. They want closed primaries so that they – not the voters – can control who wins elections. Alaskans For Better Elections fundamentally believes voters, not party bosses, should choose their representatives and that the candidates with the best ideas – not necessarily the biggest bank accounts – should be able to compete on a level playing field.
Ballot Measure 2 is a commonsense reform that provides every Alaskan with an opportunity to have their voice heard, ends the process of voting for the lesser of two evils by ensuring we have more and better choices in each election, and takes power away from special interests, giving it back to regular Alaskans, where it belongs.
In a state where more than 60 percent of voters choose not to join the Republican or Democratic parties, encouraging more independent-minded candidates to participate will result in leadership that works better for all Alaskans.
- Washington State Republican Party v. Washington State Grange
- Alaska Supreme Court No. S-17629 Superior Court
No. 3AN-19-09704 CI O P I N I O N No. 7460 – June 12, 2020
Yes on 2 for Better Elections is a ballot committee that’s working to put the power of Alaskan elections in the hands of Alaskan voters, and make our elections more open, transparent, and fair.
This communication was paid for by Yes on 2 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.