CROSBY ELECTION RULING SHOWS HOW BAD OUR SYSTEM IS
Alaskans are scratching their heads at Superior Court Judge Dani Crosby’s ruling that says absentee ballots do not need to have a witness signature on them this year.
Crosby said it’s an undue burden for people to have to have a witness on their ballot. The requirement is not that someone watches who you vote for, but simply signs to acknowledge that they know you and that you are the one who voted this ballot. Crosby says that because of the pandemic, it’s just too much to ask.
This ruling is an example of judicial activism, also called “legislating from the bench.”
The case was brought by Arctic Village Council and the League of Women Voters, both heavily dominated by Democrats and liberal allies. The plaintiffs said that some Alaskans will find it too difficult to get a witness and thus would be robbed of their constitutionally guaranteed right to vote.
Earlier this year, the Alaska Supreme Court validated Ballot Measure 2, an effort to upend Alaska’s tried-and-true election system. The justices said that the 25-page multi-dimensional upheaval of election and campaign laws did not violate the statutory “single subject rule” for ballot initiatives. After all, the subject was “elections,” the justices said.
Critics of rulings like these wonder why Alaskans even need a legislative and executive branch, when governing is now being done by judges.
These two examples demonstrate why Alaska needs a complete overhaul to how judges are appointed. Right now, it’s all in the hands of the Alaska Bar Association and the Judicial Council, both liberal bodies. The Judicial Council offers three names to the governor, and the governor must pick from them.
In other words, unelected lawyers pick the judges for Alaskans. The people have absolutely no say through their elected governor.
Will Gov. Mike Dunleavy appeal Crosby’s ruling? It’s doubtful, and maybe he should not. After all, the 2020 election is already underway and having a court case during the election could have unforeseen consequences, should any of the races end up in court (a high probability with close races).
Indeed, ballots have already been sent out to nearly 100,000 voters who opted for absentee or overseas vote-by-mail ballots.
The best thing for Dunleavy to do is to leave this as “unsettled law,” and let this Superior Court ruling hang in limbo.
The Division of Elections, which is not under his authority, needs to be able to move forward with certainty and provide voters with definitive answers on how to handle their absentee ballots.
But to be clear, the Crosby decision puts the integrity of the elections in grave doubt. Already, the campaign of Al Gross is going door-to-door in Anchorage, asking people if they plan to vote for Al Gross, and if they are, providing them with an absentee ballot application.
Voter fraud is now — thanks to our court system — almost a certainty.
There is probably not time to fix it for this round, but the best fix voters can provide is to vote no on the retention of judges on Nov. 3, and send a message to the judiciary.
The best thing the governor can do is to begin working on a constitutional amendment to reform how judges acquire so much power in our state by bypassing the people, and putting the power of governing into the hands of unelected lawyers.