Independent candidate Dr. Cornel West, backed by Alaska’s Aurora Party, says he has obtained ballot access in Alaska for the 2024 U.S. presidential election, which would make him the first Independent candidate in the state to do so.
In fact, the Aurora Party has submitted its paperwork to the Alaska Division of Elections to have West appear as a candidate, but it has not yet been processed by the office, and doesn’t appear on the division’s website.
If he does appear on the ballot for the 2024 election, he would likely peel away votes from the Democratic nominee, presumably President Joe Biden since he is considered a socialist by most standards.
“We’re fighting for a society where public welfare is prioritized over private profit, where our environment is protected, where poverty is abolished, and where every vote counts by implementing rank choice voting. As part of the Aurora Party nomination and party line ballot access, it’s a profound honor to be the first independent candidate on Alaska’s ballot for 2024. Immense gratitude to my Alaskan family for championing this cause. Alaska, you’re not just on the map, you’re leading the march for justice and truth,” West said in his press release.
One of the things that West said he would do, if elected, is to raise the Alaska Permanent dividend to $10,000 per Alaska resident, which he could only do by nationalizing the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation.
“We’re honored to be the first state in the nation to place Dr. West on the ballot. He will be a President with the moral clarity and strength to institute a new national government with working and poor people as its priority. Alaska has a robust and independent spirit, and we will win for the Independent Dr. West in November,” the Aurora Party of Alaska said in the press release. Marc Belk of Anchorage is listed as the party’s state chair.
West also said his use of the Permanent Fund would influence a move toward a universal basic income in Alaska.
And his press release indicates he would work to crush the oil industry that created the Alaska Permanent Fund.
“Enhancing his commitment to the environment, Brother West calls for an immediate moratorium on all oil and gas leasing, with a focused effort on fully protecting the idyllic Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), including the cultural resources deemed essential to the continuation of Alaska Native’s way of life. This approach is in line with the critical need for environmentally sustainable practices that consider an increasingly perilous climate crisis that’s already distributing adverse impacts statewide, and disproportionately on Alaska Native and other environmental justice communities. Specifically, Brother West will cancel the controversial and climate killing Willow project as well as proposed geoengineering projects,” he said.
West is known for his focus on race, gender, and class struggle in American society. He has described himself as a “non-Marxist socialist” and served as honorary chairman of the Democratic Socialists of America.
“Highlighting his commitments to indigenous communities nationwide, Brother West’s campaign focuses on obtaining Free Prior and Informed Consent from Alaska Natives before initiating any projects or initiatives on their sovereign territory. This approach will, in part, ensure that Alaska Natives play a central role in decisions affecting their territories and cultural heritage.”
“Our alignment with the Aurora party’s platform is very congruent with our own Policy Pillars, a commission to study and implement Universal Basic Income, dedication to climate action, environmental justice, and respect for Indigenous sovereignty, and overall, I am confident that both of our approaches offers a new direction for political initiatives not just in Alaska but throughout the United States, I am honored and humbled to be in partnership with them and look forward to getting to work to win the State of Alaska next November.”
The Aurora Party qualifies as a “limited political party” in Alaska. In order to have West as its candidate, it is required to have a petition to establish itself with at least 3,614 qualified voters, based on the number of ballots cast for president in the 2020 presidential election, which was 361,600.
“Limited political parties are governed by Alaska Statue 15.30.025, and a copy is enclosed for your review. To establish a limited political party, a petition must be submitted to the Division of Elections at least 90 days before a Presidential General Election. That date is August 7, 2024 for the 2024 General Election. It must be signed by qualified voters of the State of Alaska equal to at least one percent of the number of voters who cast ballots for President at the last Presidential Election. The number of ballots cast for President in the 2020 Presidential Election was 361,400. Therefore, the number of qualified signatures required on the petition must be at least 3,614.”
As for his “independent” status on the ballot, the law says he may have applied a few weeks too soon:
“A person may also file as an independent candidate for President of the United States by filing a petition with the Director of Elections not earlier than January 1 of a presidential election year and not later than the 90th day before a Presidential General Election. That date is August 7, 2024 for the 2024 General Election. The petition must be signed by qualified voters of the state equal in number to at least one percent of the number of voters who cast ballots in an election under AS 15.30 for President of the United States at the last Presidential General Election. The number of ballots cast for President in the 2020 Presidential Election was 361,400. Therefore, the number of qualified signatures required on the petition must be at least 3,614. The petition must state that the signers desire the named candidate for President of the United States to appear on the ballot as an independent candidate for president at the next succeeding Presidential General Election.”
Also, according to Alaska Statute, in order to appear on the ballot, a candidate who has qualified for ballot status under AS 15.30.026(a) must certify to the Director of Elections on or before Sept. 1 of the year of the presidential general election:
- – the names of the electors for the independent candidate for president of the United States, equal to the number of senators and representatives to which the state is entitled in Congress;
- – the name of a candidate for vice president, selected by the independent candidate; and
- – the name, Alaska mailing address, and signature of the candidate’s state campaign chair, who must be an Alaska resident.