State of Alaska, Division of Elections face legal challenge to Ballot Measure 2

Published: Mar. 24, 2021 at 4:02 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - The State of Alaska is facing a legal challenge to the implementation of Ballot Measure 2.

The measure, which passed in the November 2020 election, creates a single primary ballot listing candidates from all parties together.

It also establishes ranked-choice voting in the general election, with voters choosing between the top 4 candidates from the primary.

The complaint has been brought by, among others, Kenneth Jacobus and the Alaskan Independence Party.

Jacobus, who is also attorney for the plaintiffs, said the ballot measure goes against the Alaska constitution. “It really hurts the political parties. Political parties are organized under the First Amendment, composed of people who are of similar political views, and they join together for the purpose of electing candidates. This election system pretty much wipes out any importance of political parties,” he said.

Bob Bird, radio talk show host and Chairman of the Alaskan Independence Party, is a party to the challenge. He said he is not confident that the complaint will be successful, citing what he sees as a lack of integrity in the Alaskan judicial system. He also said he believes that the ballot measure passed because of voter fraud, and that he has lost confidence in the state’s election integrity.

According to Bird, the measure is potentially harmful to third parties. “By having only the top four primary winners move on to the general election, it is a direct threat to all of the third parties, such that if you have two strong Democrats and two strong Republicans trying for the nomination within their parties, there you go. There’s the four top winners in all likelihood right there,” he said.

The Alaska Department of Law declined to comment on ongoing litigation. However, according to their official answer to the complaint, the defendants denied many of the allegations, including the potential effects of the measure.

In its response, the defense asks “That the plaintiffs’ First Amended Complaint be dismissed with prejudice.”

Trial is scheduled to begin on March 29th of next year, and last two days.

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