Election 2022

Former Gov. Sarah Palin listens as Democratic candidate Mary Peltola speaks at an Aug. 31 candidate forum held by the Alaska Oil and Gas Association. Minutes after the forum concluded, the Alaska Division of Elections released results showing that Peltola had beaten Palin to win the special election to fill the remainder of the late Don Young's House term. Palin, Peltola, Republican Nick Begich and Libertarian Chris Bye then faced each other in the election for the full two-year term. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

North to the future? Alaska’s ranked choice voting system is praised and criticized nationally

BY: - September 15, 2023

Alaska’s ranked choice voting system, which was in place for victories for the first Democratic U.S. House member in half a century and the reelection of one of the last remaining moderate Republican U.S. senators, has become a test case for a nation struggling with political polarization. To fans, Alaska’s system shows how voters can […]

Alaska campaign regulator fines political group with ties to university official and state attorney general

BY: - June 23, 2023

The Alaska Public Offices Commission has fined a group active in last year’s legislative elections $2,525 for failing to properly disclose its financial dealings. The group, Alaska Policy Partners, attacked moderate Republican and Democratic candidates during the election, spending $210,000 with a Utah-based firm called Massey Political Consulting that wasn’t licensed to work in Alaska.  […]

Senate President Gary Stevens, R-Kodiak, listens to Senate Rules Committee Chair Bill Wielechowski, D-Anchorage, and Senate Majority Leader Cathy Giessel, R-Anchorage, during a Tuesday, May 16, 2023, session of the Alaska Senate. At right is Senate Secretary Liz Clark. (Photo by James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)

No budget deal yet as Alaska Legislature prepares for the end of its regular session

BY: - May 16, 2023

The Alaska Senate ended the penultimate regular day of the state’s legislative session without advancing work on the operating budget needed to avoid a government shutdown on July 1. Senate President Gary Stevens, R-Kodiak, said the session may end on Wednesday without a vote on the Senate’s proposed $6.2 billion “take-it-or-leave-it” budget.  The Senate will […]

Alaska Legislature rejects governor’s pick for university board; all other nominees accepted

BY: - May 9, 2023

The Alaska Legislature approved all but one of Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s picks for state boards and commissions in a once-per-year joint session of the state House and Senate on Tuesday. The lone person who did not get the Legislature’s approval was Bethany Marcum, who had been nominated for a seat on the University of Alaska’s […]

Al Gross should have stayed on U.S. House ballot, Alaska Supreme Court says

BY: - April 28, 2023

The Alaska Division of Elections improperly removed Al Gross, an independent candidate for U.S. House, from last year’s special election ballot, the Alaska Supreme Court said in a ruling published Friday. Gross withdrew from the race after finishing third among 48 candidates in the special primary election that was the first step in filling the […]

Gubernatorial candidate Charlie Pierce and running mate Edie Grunwald listen to the U.S. Senate candidates speak at a forum Saturday at the Alaska Federation of Natives convention in Anchorage. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

Kenai Peninsula Borough will pay to settle complaint against former governor candidate Pierce

BY: - April 19, 2023

Former Republican governor candidate and Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Charlie Pierce will not have to pay out of pocket to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit brought by a former aide. On Tuesday evening, the Borough Assembly said the borough will pay more than $206,000 to the aide, Pam Wastell, and a borough-owned insurance policy will […]

Alaska Supreme Court rules in favor of Jennie Armstrong, clearing her to serve in Legislature

BY: - January 13, 2023

The Alaska Supreme Court has upheld the eligibility of Rep.-elect Jennie Armstrong, D-Anchorage, to serve in the state Legislature. In a summary decision issued Friday, three of the court’s justices voted 2-1 to uphold a lower-court decision in Armstrong’s favor. The justices did not provide an immediate explanation for their decision; one will be published […]

This screenshot from the website of the Alaska Court System shows Representative-elect Jennie Armstrong testifying Thursday, Dec. 22, 2022, during an evidentiary hearing. Armstrong is defending against a lawsuit that alleges she is ineligible to serve in the Alaska Legislature. (Screenshot)

Alaska Supreme Court will hear challenge to Anchorage Democrat’s legislative eligibility

BY: - January 11, 2023

A Superior Court ruling that upheld the legislative eligibility of Rep.-elect Jennie Armstrong, D-Anchorage, is being appealed to the Alaska Supreme Court. Late Tuesday, defeated Republican candidate Liz Vazquez and four supporters filed the appeal with the state’s high court, asking justices to overturn the Monday decision by Judge Herman Walker. The Alaska Legislature convenes […]

This screenshot from the website of the Alaska Court System shows Representative-elect Jennie Armstrong testifying Thursday, Dec. 22, 2022, during an evidentiary hearing. Armstrong is defending against a lawsuit that alleges she is ineligible to serve in the Alaska Legislature. (Screenshot)

Judge upholds Anchorage Democrat’s eligibility after legal challenge from defeated Republican

BY: - January 9, 2023

An Alaska Superior Court judge has ruled against a challenge to Rep.-elect Jennie Armstrong’s eligibility, clearing the way for the Anchorage Democrat to take office when the Legislature convenes Jan. 17 in Juneau. “Based upon the subjective and objective evidence presented at trial and the credibility of the witnesses, the court finds that Armstrong meets […]

A sign directs voters to the polling site set up on Tuesday in the YMCA in Midtown Anchorage. Ballot counting in the high-profile U.S. Senate and U.S. House races will be a deliberative process, with results of the ranked-choice contests expected on Nov. 23. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

Don’t Vote for Just One: Ranked Choice Voting Is Gaining Ground

BY: - December 26, 2022

Last month, voters in Nevada, Seattle and at least six other jurisdictions around the country approved measures to change how they elect their leaders. Instead of voting for just one candidate, they instead will rank a slate of candidates. Ranked choice voting has seen steady success in recent years. Nationwide, 62 jurisdictions have adopted the […]

Jeffrey Congdon, Region II Elections Supervisor, feeds ballots through the scanner during the House District 15 recount on Dec. 8, 2022, at the Division of Elections Director's Office in Juneau. (Photo by Lisa Phu/Alaska Beacon)

Anchorage state House recount doesn’t change outcome, as Republican incumbent McKay keeps lead 

BY: - December 8, 2022

The results of the Dec. 8 recount did not change the certified winner of the House District 15 race in Anchorage, the state’s closest race of the November election. Anchorage Republican incumbent Rep. Tom McKay still led Democratic challenger Denny Wells, after results were announced Thursday afternoon. McKay’s lead grew as a result of the […]

This screenshot from the Alaska Court System shows Anchorage Superior Court Judge Jack McKenna and the attorneys involved in the Thursday, Dec. 8, court hearing about the lawsuit challenging Rep. David Eastman's eligibility for office. (Screenshot)

Judge hears arguments on whether to dismiss Eastman eligibility lawsuit

BY: - December 8, 2022

Attorneys representing the Alaska Division of Elections and Rep. David Eastman, R-Wasilla, urged an Anchorage Superior Court judge on Thursday to dismiss a lawsuit challenging Eastman’s eligibility for office and avoid a trial intended to determine whether Eastman has violated a Red Scare-era loyalty clause in the Alaska Constitution. After more than an hour of […]