Alaska in Brief
State will ask judge to keep Alaska election on track despite new lawsuit
Forty-eight candidates are on the ballot in the special primary election to fill the U.S. House seat left vacant by the death of Rep. Don Young. The election is being conducted by mail, with special return envelopes. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)
The Alaska Division of Elections has ‘serious concerns’ about a lawsuit filed this week that seeks to pause certification of the state’s special U.S. House primary election.
The lawsuit was filed by the chairman of the Alaska State Human Rights Commission, who alleges that the procedures used in Alaska’s first-ever statewide by-mail election are discriminatory against blind and visually impaired voters.
Patty Sullivan, communications director for the Alaska Department of Law, said attorneys representing the division will ask a state judge to not upset the timing of the election, which began more than a month ago.
“These issues could have been raised much earlier, and the division has not done anything differently than what it has done in the past for absentee voting. We are hopeful the court will agree,” Sullivan said in an emailed statement.
The statement also said that the Department of Law — which represents the division in legal matters — is still reviewing the lawsuit but that there are ways to help all voters, even in a mail-in election.
“A voter can get the assistance of a trusted person to complete the ballot received in the mail in the comfort of their own home. Election workers can help voters with their ballots at any absentee-in-person location or division office. Or, voters can fill out a ballot privately online using their own computer or tablet set to their own specifications. And, at division regional offices, tablets are available to fill out the ballot digitally for those who need it,” the statement said.
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