More

    Alaska Supreme Court throws out absentee signature verification law

    AlaskaWatchman.com

    The Alaska Supreme Court has upheld a lower court ruling against Alaska’s law that seeks to maintain the integrity of absentee voting by requiring the signature of one witness to verify the identity of the absentee voter.

    The high court issued a ruling dated Oct. 12, which orders the state to abandon its long-standing practice of requiring an absentee voter to sign their ballot in the presence of someone who is age 18 years or older and to have that person sign as a witness to attest to the identity of the voter.

    The case was decided by Supreme Court Justices Daniel Winfree, Dario Borghesan, Susan Carney and Chief Justice Joel Boldger.

    The Supreme Court sided with Superior Court Judge Dani Crosby, who issued a preliminary injunction on Oct. 5 against the law but did not reject it outright because she did not want to create chaos and confusion before the state appealed her decision to the Alaska Supreme Court.

    Plaintiffs in the case asserted that requiring witness signatures for absentee ballots unduly burdens voters who are worried that they might catch COVID-19.

    The state argued that the plaintiffs waited too long to file suit, saying they could have done so months ago when Gov. Mike Dunleavy declared a public health emergency back in March.

    The state noted that it would have to retrain election employees on short notice to disregard the lack of witness verification signatures on absentee ballots.

    Crosby did admit the state had an added burden with the general election approaching in less than a month. She noted the hardship the state faced in launching a public education program, altering its ballot practices and possibly needing to “send out tens of thousands of new mailings to absentee voters, all while preparing for the General Election during a pandemic.” She also acknowledged an Alaska Supreme Court ruling in which the court held there is simply no way for the state’s interests to be adequately protected if a preliminary injunction will prevent it from administering an election pursuant to its own election laws.

    For its part the state maintains that witness signature requirements protect against voter fraud and preserves public confidence in the validity of absentee voting.

    Click here to support the Alaska Watchman.

    Share this article

    Related articles

    3 Comments

    1. Who are the justices we need to not retain in the fourth judicial district for decisions similar to the above. Who can I asked or how can I find out?

    2. we as Alaskans need to maintain this signature verification for absentee voting……it is another safety factor against fraudulent voting….

    Leave a reply

    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here

    Donate

    Alaska Watchman relies on the generous support of our readers. All donations go directly to supporting and expanding our news coverage. Please consider becoming a regular supporter.

    Select a Donation Option (USD)

    Enter Donation Amount (USD)

    Donate

    $
    Personal Info

    Donation Total: $100.00

    Stay Informed

    Receive breaking stories and analysis from the Alaska Watchman directly to your inbox for free.

    No spam ever. Guaranteed.

    Latest articles

    Deceptive Catholic voter guide misleads Alaskans on abortion

    Catholics, who comprise the largest religious group in Alaska, received a misleading voter guide this month, which claims to help roughly 24,000...

    In defense of the Electoral College – part 2

    Editor’s note: This is the second of two columns in defense of the Electoral College system of electing a president. Read part...

    Marxism’s connection to ‘white privilege’ doctrine

    The privilege many hard-working people have enjoyed in our country is because they applied themselves diligently regardless of their color, gender, ethnicity...

    Four reasons Alaskans should remove Supreme Court Justice Susan Carney

    Alaska Supreme Court Justice Susan Carney will appear on the Nov. 3 general election ballot for her first retention election. She was...

    News tips