A lawsuit filed by members of the Libertarian, Alaskan Independence and Republican parties challenges the constitutionality of a newly and narrowly passed ballot measure that would end party primaries and institute ranked choice voting for general elections.
The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in state court, lists as plaintiffs Scott Kohlhaas, a Libertarian; Robert Bird, chair of the Alaskan Independence Party; and Kenneth Jacobus, a Republican. They are asking a judge to invalidate Ballot Measure 2, which passed narrowly last month.
The lawsuit alleges the measure violates constitutional rights to free political association and political expression, among other things, and says the initiative would create a system that renders political parties irrelevant.
Under the initiative, all candidates would appear on one ballot for the primary and the top four vote-getters would advance to the general. Based on past experience, this likely will result in only Democrats and Republicans advancing, “leaving no room for members of other parties,” the lawsuit says.
Defendants include the state Division of Elections and election officials.
The Alaska Department of Law “will review the pleadings and respond in a timely manner,” spokesperson Maria Bahr said.