State appeals to Alaska Supreme Court in ballot witness case

 File Photo of the Alaska Supreme Court (KTVF)
File Photo of the Alaska Supreme Court (KTVF) (KTVF)
Published: Oct. 6, 2020 at 6:39 PM AKDT
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(AP) - The state is asking the Alaska Supreme Court to reverse a decision that seeks to eliminate witness requirements for absentee ballots.

Superior Court Judge Dani Crosby ruled Monday that enforcement of the requirements during a pandemic “impermissibly burdens the right to vote” but did not immediately put into effect an order eliminating the requirement for the Nov. 3 general election. She gave the parties until Tuesday to propose how the Division of Elections should communicate the message and said she would later issue an order “specifying how to implement elimination” of the requirement for the election.

Crosby noted the state might appeal to the Alaska Supreme Court, which happened Tuesday. The state is seeking a decision from the Supreme Court by Monday.

The case was brought by Arctic Village Council, a tribal government; the League of Women Voters of Alaska; and two individuals who have cited health concerns amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The state Department of Law, which is representing the Division of Elections, in a statement, said a decision by the Supreme Court is needed on the issue “to have finality before a statute that has been in place for decades is modified for this election.”

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