Alaska Lawyers Chapter
737 W. 5th Avenue, Suite 110
Anchorage, AK 99501
- Daniel Suhr, Managing Attorney, Liberty Justice Center
On November 3, 2020, a slim majority of Alaskans voted for Ballot Measure 2, ushering in a new statewide system of ranked-choice voting and the strictest campaign finance disclosure rules in the country. The ranked-choice system promised to “reduce partisan elections” and let “voters express their true preferences without fear of accidentally helping elect candidates they don’t support,” while the campaign-finance disclosure rules promised to “end the secret influence of dark money.” The rules were challenged in litigation. The Alaska Supreme Court upheld ranked-choice voting immediately after hearing oral argument, but eight months later, the public still awaits the Court’s opinion. The campaign-finance disclosure rules are pending consideration in federal district court, but we likely won’t see the final disposition until next year or the year after. Meanwhile, Alaskans are watching these reforms play out and asking whether their policy goals are being met. With respect to ranked choice, after over forty people ran in the primary, two Republicans and a Democrat advanced to the general, and the Democrat prevailed in the second round of voting, sending Alaska’s first Democrat to Congress in fifty years. With respect to dark money, accusations have been made against multiple campaigns for accepting undisclosed outside money or violating the new disclosure rules. Has Ballot Measure 2 allowed voters to express their true preferences without fear of accidentally helping other candidates? Has it ended the secret influence of dark money? And when will we learn how BM2 aligns with the Alaska Constitution and US Constitution? These are the questions Daniel Suhr will address in this timely Federalist Society Anchorage Lawyers Chapter event.