Press Releases

Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE: Alaskans for Better Elections Announces Campaign Team

ANCHORAGE (May 11, 2020) – The Alaskans for Better Elections committee is excited to announce their fully Alaskan campaign team. Stacey Lucason, Matthew Farina, and Jackson Blackwell have joined the team dedicated to strengthening the voice, choice, and integrity in our elections system. 

Stacey Lucason, a lifelong Alaskan, will serve as Deputy Campaign Manager for the campaign. Stacey has extensive experience working in Alaskan communities and with the University of Alaska, where she currently teaches a course on Alaska Native studies at UAA. “We never should have allowed elections to become about the lesser of two evils, and I’m proud to be working with this initiative to correct that and move our elections away from dark money and outside influence and back into the hands of Alaskans.”

Matthew Farina, veteran and lifelong Alaskan, will act as Data Director. Matt also works as a Project Engineer and earned a Master of Public Administration and a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Alaska Anchorage. “I’m glad I can use my education and experience to help make elections better for all Alaskans.” 

Jackson Blackwell, another lifelong Alaskan, will serve as Operations Director. Jackson, a 2020 Truman Scholar,  previously worked for Senator Lisa Murkowski’s 2016 campaign, the Stand for Alaska ballot measure, and in different capacities both in Washington, D.C., and here in Alaska. “As a young Alaskan, I’m excited to be supporting this measure and helping move Alaska towards a future of fair and transparent elections.” 

“As advocates for fair and transparent elections, it’s important to have an experienced and dedicated team of Alaskans moving forward,” Campaign Manager Shea Siegert said. “Building better elections and a better Alaska starts with a great team, and I’m proud of our team and excited for the work to come.”

The Better Elections Initiative would put an end to secret “dark money”—much of which comes from outside Alaska—that anonymous, big-money spenders use to influence our elections. It would also open Alaska’s primary elections to all Alaskans again regardless of political party, and ensure majority winner elections. The measure also gives voters the option to rank candidates in general elections, or, if they choose, voters can vote for just one candidate as they do now.

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Press Releases

Alaskans for Better Elections Makes Case to Supreme Court

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.Read more

Press Releases

Court Approves Better Elections Initiative Petition

ANCHORAGE, AK (October 28,  2019) — The Superior Court today certified the Alaskans for Better Elections Initiative, clearing the way for signature gathering to begin. The ruling overturns the Division of Elections’ initial denial of their application—made on the advice of Attorney General Kevin Clarkson—and allows the initiative to move forward to appear on the ballot next year.

“With the court allowing this initiative to move forward, the path is clear for Alaskans to usher in cleaner, fairer, and more open elections,” said Jason Grenn, a Co-Chair of the ballot group and former independent State Representative for District 22 in West Anchorage. “Alaskans will now have the opportunity to choose real structural reform to improve our elections.”

The court’s decision comes after the nonpartisan group Alaskans for Better Elections (“ABE”) challenged the Attorney General’s opinion that the initiative violates the Alaska Constitution’s “single-subject” rule. ABE’s attorneys argued that the elements of the initiative clearly concerned the single subject of election reform—an argument with which Superior Court Judge Yvonne Lamoureux agreed, concluding, “The sole legal question is whether the proposed initiative embraces one general subject. The answer is yes.”  Judge Lamoureux agreed with ABE that the initiative clearly complies with 50 years of Alaska Supreme Court precedent in which the single subject-rule has been applied.

The initiative would reform Alaskan elections by putting an end to secret “dark money”—most of which comes from outside Alaska—that big-money spenders use to anonymously influence Alaska’s elections. It would open Alaska’s primary elections to all Alaskans, regardless of political party affiliation. Further, it would also give voters the option to rank candidates in general elections, or, if they choose, voters can vote for just one candidate as they do now.

“We are all aware of the adverse effects Outside money and polarizing partisanship have had on our elections,” said Co-Chair of the initiative, Bruce Botelho, a Democrat, former Attorney General of the State of Alaska and former Mayor of Juneau. “Alaskans are ready for meaningful change, and the Superior Court today gave them the opportunity to vote for it.”


In the wake of the Court’s decision, volunteers and staffers from the ballot committee will begin traveling the state to collect signatures and discuss the initiative with Alaskans. Alaskans who wish to join in support can contact the ballot committee at www.alaskansforbetterelections.com/get-involved.

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This communication was Paid for By Alaskans for Better Elections, PO Box 210295, Anchorage, AK 99521. Jason Grenn, Chair, approved this message. The Top 3 contributors are Represent.Us, Florence, MA; Voters’ Right to Know, Sausalito, CA; and Fair Vote Action Fund, Takoma Park, MD.

Press Releases

Bipartisan reform group aims to bring transparency and civility to Alaska

ANCHORAGE (July 3, 2019) — Today, a bipartisan group of community leaders, Alaskans for Better Elections (ABE), has submitted a ballot measure application to put more power of Alaska’s elections in the hands of Alaskan voters. The ballot initiative would increase transparency, participation, access, and choice in Alaska’s elections.

If approved by voters in November 2020, the initiative would put an end to secret “dark money”, much of it coming from outside Alaska, that anonymous, big-money spenders use to influence our elections. It would also open Alaska’s primary elections to all Alaskans, regardless of political party, and would give voters more choice and more voice by allowing them to rank candidates on the ballot (1, 2, and 3).

“Our transparency laws are long overdue for a fix,” said Chair of the ABE ballot committee, Jason Grenn, former independent State Representative for District 22 in West Anchorage. “This will shine a light on the dark money that influences campaigns, and protect our right to know who is trying to influence our votes and our views.”

At a time when more money than ever is pouring into Alaska elections, Alaska’s election watchdogs, the Alaska Public Offices Commission (APOC), are overworked and under-resourced. APOC, the public, and the media struggle to keep up with the flood of money that now courses through our election system.

The proposed initiative would stop the influx of dark money, political spending by organizations that do not disclose their donors, requiring additional reporting for groups that can receive and spend unlimited amounts of money on elections. These groups would be required to publicly report large donations in real-time, and disclose the true sources behind all such donations.

“Why should taxpayers pay to subsidize the activities of political parties,” said co-Chair of the initiative, Bonnie Jack, an Anchorage Republican. “This would save the state money and we believe the people deserve the opportunity to vote their conscience and not be restricted to a specific party vote.”

The initiative would also open Alaska’s primaries to all voters. Under the current system, political parties get to choose who can vote in their primary elections. Voters, especially independent voters, are forced to pick one ballot or the other meaning that only a small group of primary voters end up choosing the candidates that appear on the general election ballot. The initiative would give every voter access to a single primary ballot that lists all candidates, boosting voter turnout and reducing partisanship in the process.

Finally, the initiative would allow voters to have more impact with their ballot, without having to worry about picking between the “lesser of two evils,” by adjusting election ballots to allowing voters the option of ranking their first, second, and third choice candidates. This adjustment, called “ranked-choice voting,” would ensure that every winning candidate has received a majority of votes cast. When votes are counted, if no candidate receives a majority of all the first-choice votes, then the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated. If a voter’s first choice is eliminated, their vote transfers to their next choice. This process repeats until one candidate has received a majority of votes, and is declared the winner.

Co-chair of the initiative, Bruce Botelho, Democrat, former Attorney General of the State of Alaska, and former Mayor of Juneau, said. “We believe the people deserve the opportunity to vote their conscience without having to worry about wasting their vote. This is a common-sense reform that offers more choice and tells candidates to fight for my vote instead of just fighting against each other.”

If approved, the ballot measure would make sure that special and establishment interests can no longer speak louder than Alaska’s voters. Alaskans will be able to vote on this measure to restore the power to the voters in 2020.

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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, AK 99521. Jason Grenn, Chair, approved this message. The top contributor is Paula DeLaiarro, Anchorage, AK.