Pruitt loses election challenge in the Alaska Supreme Court

Published: Jan. 9, 2021 at 6:26 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) -Anchorage Republican Rep. Lance Pruitt lost his election challenge in the Alaska Supreme Court.

A brief written order was released by the court on Friday afternoon. The five justices wrote that Pruitt had not met the burden to overturn his 11-vote election loss which could have required another election to be held.

The legal challenge centered on the late-change of a polling location for a single precinct within House District 27. Pruitt’s attorney argued that change had disenfranchised voters.

Attorneys for the state of Alaska said in court Friday that the election was disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic and that the Division of Elections had done its best to inform voters.

Democrat Rep.-elect Liz Synder will be sworn-in on Jan. 19.

“It’s safe to say that I was pretty pleased,” she said after Friday’s decision. “After a long campaign season, and a unique campaign season, and working through these two claims, I’m really ready to get to work, doing the things that District 27 elected me to do.”

Stacey Stone, Pruitt’s attorney, said he respected the court’s decision, but hoped that the Division of Elections could ensure polling location issues would not occur again in the future. Pruitt did not respond to requests for further comment.

Snyder’s election win means the House of Representatives is deadlocked. There are 20 Republicans on one side, and 19 Democrats and independents, and one Republican on the other. At least 21 members are needed to form a majority caucus.

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