Alaska Supreme Court allows special primary election to go forward

According to Fox News, the Alaska Supreme Court ruled this weekend that certification of a special primary election for the state’s lone House seat can move forward. 

In doing so, the justices reversed a ruling on Friday by Superior Court Judge Una Gandbhir which prevented state officials from certifying the results.

Controversy

At issue was whether visually impaired voters had been provided with a “full and fair opportunity” to cast their ballots, with Gandbhir concluding that the state failed to do so.

However, Fox News noted that Gandbhir had provided no guidance in her ruling as to what accommodations would be considered acceptable.

The case was brought by Alaska State Commission for Human Rights executive director Robert Corbisier, who sued on behalf of a visually impaired voter who resides in Anchorage.

While Corbisier’s attorneys argued that visually impaired voters are unable to participate in the election “without invasive and unlawful assistance from a sighted person” lawyers for the state said secret voting options are available. The election is being held to replace long-serving Republican Rep. Don Young, who passed away earlier this year at the age of 88.

Palin leads

Some 48 candidates are vying for the seat, and among them is former Alaska governor and 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee, Sarah Palin.

Other high-profile Republicans include Nick Begich, Tara Sweeney, and Josh Revak. Also running are Democrats Christopher Constant, and Mary Peltola.

One notable addition to the list is a self-described “independent, progressive, democratic socialist” whose legal name is Santa Claus.

Fox News noted that this is the first time that Alaskans use the ranked-choice balloting system which was approved in a 2020 state referendum.

Under its rules, voters must select one candidate in the primary race, with the top four vote recipients then moving on to a special election in which a ranked-choice ballot will decide the final winner.

Fox News reported on Sunday that Palin, who received an endorsement from former President Donald Trump, was in the lead and had taken in nearly 30% of the vote.

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