This photo of a by-mail ballot sent to an Alaska voter in October shows Ballot Measure 2. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

This photo of a by-mail ballot sent to an Alaska voter in October shows Ballot Measure 2. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

Lawsuit challenges constitutionality of Ballot Measure 2

It passed narrowly with voters.

By The Associated Press

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.

More in News

Jasmine Chavez, a crew member aboard the Quantum of the Seas cruise ship, waves to her family during a cell phone conversation after disembarking from the ship at Marine Park on May 10. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
Ships in port for the week of May 25

Here’s what to expect this week.

The LeConte state ferry departs Juneau on Tuesday afternoon, bound for Haines on a special round-trip following two cancelled sailings due to a mechanical problem. (Laurie Craig / Juneau Empire)
LeConte returns to service with special trip to Haines after weekend cancellation

State ferry will pick up half of nearly 60 stranded vehicles, others may have to wait until July.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Monday, May 27, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Anchorage pullers arrived at Wrangell’s Petroglyph Beach on May 23 for a canoe-naming ceremony. One of the canoes they will paddle to Juneau was dedicated to Wrangell’s Marge Byrd, Kiks.adi matriarch Shaawat Shoogoo. The canoe’s name is Xíxch’ dexí (Frog Backbone). (Becca Clark / Wrangell Sentinel)
Canoes making 150-mile journey from Wrangell, other Southeast communities to Celebration

Paddlers expected to arrive in Juneau on June 4, one day before biennial Alaska Native gathering.

The Alaska State Capitol and Dimond Courthouse are seen on Thursday morning, Jan. 18. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
Judicial Council recommends Alaskans keep all judges, including figure behind correspondence ruling

The Alaska Judicial Council has voted to recommend that state voters retain… Continue reading

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Sunday, May 26, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Saturday, May 25, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Friday, May 24, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Wreath bearers present wreaths for fallen comrades, brothers and sisters in arms during a Memorial Day ceremony at Alaskan Memorial Park on Monday. Laying wreaths on the graves of fallen heroes is a way to honor and remember the sacrifices made. (Jasz Garrett / Juneau Empire)
Traditional Memorial Day ceremonies offer new ways to ‘never forget’ those who served

New installations at memorial sites, fresh words of reminder shared by hundreds gathering in Juneau.

Most Read