The Latest: Election officials to focus on ballot design
Apr. 04, 2018
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The Latest on a court decision allowing independents to run in Alaska Democratic primaries (all times local):
The Alaska Department of Law says election officials will be tasked with designing ballots to fit with a state Supreme Court decision that allows for independents to run in the Democratic party primary.
The department says the Division of Elections will need to design ballots that "clearly and accurately" reflect the registration and nominee status of candidates..
On Wednesday, the Alaska Supreme Court affirmed a lower court ruling that allowed for independent candidates to run in Democratic primaries.
The state had argued that if a party nominee doesn't have to identify with their nominating party, the system the state uses to regulate political party status and ballot access won't make sense.
Attorney General Jahna Lindemuth says the decision will help election officials prepare for the June 1 candidate filing date and August primary.
The Alaska Supreme Court has decided that Democrats should be allowed to let independent candidates run in party primaries.
The court's decision affirms a lower court ruling. A detailed opinion is expected later.
The Alaska Democratic Party challenged a law requiring that primary election candidates be registered members of the party whose nomination they're seeking.
A Superior Court judge found the state was restricting Democrats' attempt to appeal to independent voters by not letting unaffiliated candidates participate in Democratic primaries.
The state appealed, arguing that if a party nominee doesn't have to identify with their nominating party, the system the state uses to regulate political party status and ballot access won't make sense.
Supreme Court Chief Justice Craig Stowers raised doubts with the majority opinion but stopped short of dissenting.