Has Ballot Measure 2 allowed Alaskan voters to express their true preferences without fear of accidentally helping other candidates?  Has it ended the secret influence of dark money? When will we learn how BM2 aligns with the Alaska Constitution and U.S. Constitution?  These are the main questions that will be explored in an upcoming luncheon by the Alaska Lawyers Chapter in Anchorage.

Daniel Suhr

Entitled “Alaska Election Reforms on Display: Ranked Choice Voting, Dark Money, and the Law,” the event takes place on Sept. 28, 12 p.m., at the Glacier Brewhouse (737 W. Avenue) in Anchorage.

The main speaker is Daniel Suhr, managing attorney at the Liberty Justice Center, a nonpartisan, non-profit organization with a mission to fight “for the constitutional rights of American families, workers, advocates and entrepreneurs.”

Suhr represents parents and schools to advance education reform, protect privacy and free speech, and help Americans fighting back against the advance of cancel culture. He formerly worked as policy director for Governor Scott Walker.

The upcoming talk will review what has happened in Alaska since a slim majority of voters passed Ballot Measure 2 on Nov. 30, 2020. That vote ushered in a new statewide system of ranked-choice voting and enacted 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. It also promised to end the secret influence of dark money.

After being challenged in state court, the Alaska Supreme Court upheld the legality of ranked-choice voting.

“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,” a notice on Alaska Lawyers Chapter website states. “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.”

The group highlights the fact that Alaskans are still watching these fundamental changes play out “asking whether their policy goals are being met.”

It notes that with respect to ranked choice voting, more than 40 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 50 years.

“With respect to dark money, accusations have been made against multiple campaigns for accepting undisclosed outside money or violating the new disclosure rules,” the website adds.

To register for the event, click here.

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Alaska lawyers event to unpack state election changes & the ongoing role of dark money

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 24 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.