Petitions in search of signatures


What petitions are being circulated for the 2024 election cycle?

One of the most well-known would unwind the Ballot Measure 2 proposal from 2020 that brought open primaries and ranked-choice voting to Alaska, and ushered in Rep. Mary Peltola in the process.

An Act to get rid of the Open Primary System and Ranked-Choice General Election” is the work of a conservative group called Alaskans for Honest Elections.

That petition asks voters if they want to reconsider Ballot Measure 2 and reinstate a political party primary and general election process that is easily understood. The political parties of Alaska would select their candidates through a primary process, as they did before 2022. Voters would vote for their preferred candidate, and then each preferred candidate from each registered political party would appear on the general ballot.

Alaskans for Honest Elections has until Feb. 7, 2024 to file petition booklets with the state with at least 26,705 legitimate voter signatures on them.

Alaskans for Honest Elections has been the subject of a legal complaint filed by the Alaskans for Better Elections group, which is the one that brought Ballot Measure 2 forth in 2020, and which is fighting Alaskans for Honest Elections.

More recently, Alaskans for Honest Elections has filed its own complaint against Alaskans for Better Elections, claiming election violations. The details are at this Alaskans of Honest Elections website.

Another initiative petition circulating would “increase Alaska’s minimum wage, provide workers with paid sick leave, and protect workers from practices that violate their constitutional rights.”

The minimum wage would be boosted to $13 in 2025, $14 in 2026, and $15 in 2027. The current minimum wage in Alaska is $10.85. Sponsors of the petition include Rep. Genevieve Mina, a Democrat who lives in Anchorage, and Ed Flanagan of Juneau, who is chair of Alaskans for a Fair Minimum Wage.

The petition wants employers with fewer than 15 employees to grant a week of sick leave with pay to workers. It also prohibits companies from requiring workers to attend religious or political meetings as part of their work hours. There are numerous other provisions in the initiative language that are not included in the ballot summary.

The group has until Sept. 13, 2024 to collect the 26,705 signatures it needs to put the question on the 2024 general election ballot.

An Act restoring campaign contribution limits for campaigns for state and local office” is a new initiative petition now circulating. Its sponsors, including Rep. Calvin Schrage of Anchorage, David Monson of Alaskans for Better Elections, and former Attorney General Bruce Botelho of Juneau, are trying to reinstate campaign contribution limits. Alaska’s draconian limits were deemed unconstitutional and right now, there are no limits on how much one can give to any local or state candidate’s campaign; federal candidates fall under federal rules.

The actual limits the group suggests are spelled out in the initiative at this link. The group has until Sept. 1, 2024 to collect the needed signatures.

A recent petition application filed over the summer has been denied: “An Act preventing the expenditure of public funds for any process by which political parties select their official nominees or endorsed candidates for office” is another initiative petition circulating. This petition is a way to support the much-maligned Ballot Measure 2, which bought Alaska open primaries. It basically would prevent the state from expending any money to assist the political process in political parties. How this plays out in practical terms is unclear, since parties already pay for their own conventions and presidential preference polls. It would almost certainly create havoc with the Division of Elections if the division was not allowed to even assist political parties, for instance, if they need help understanding the process. It was an initiative in search of a problem.

Sponsors were former Attorney General Bruce Botelho, former Sen. Lesil McGuire, and Juli Lucky of Alaskans for Better Elections, along with election attorney for Alaskans for Better Elections Scott Kendall.


  1. Scott Kendall’s RCV gave us Mary Peltola and Lisa Murkowski. In a twist of irony it also eliminated Bill Walker and Kendall’s own brother in law, Grier Hopkins of Fairbanks’ Hopkins crime family.

    • It was the top four system, the abolishment of party primaries, that allowed Murkowski to be re-elected, not RCV.

      • Uh, Brian…..what do you think “ranking” is? Rank Choice Voting (RCV) was specifically designed to eliminate a primary contest. Kelly Tshibaka would have sent Lisa Murkowski back home slopping noodles on her husband’s dinner plate, but for RCV.

        • Ya, I think your numbers are off there Naomi. Lisa was ahead in each stage of the voting and prevailed in a head to head matchup in the final round of RCV. See the numbers below

          In the first tabulation of RCV, after the write in’s, the numbers are as follows:
          Lisa got 114,118 votes or 43.39%
          Kelly T got 112,101 or 42.62%
          Pat Chesbro got 28233 or 10.73%
          Buzz Kelley got 8575 or 3.26%

          Because Buzz got the least amount of 1st place votes, he is eliminated and the votes distributed by who was ranked 2nd on those ballots. The numbers are as follows:
          Lisa had 115,759 or 44.49%
          Kelly T had 115,310 or 44.32%
          Pat had 29134 or 11.2%

          As with Buzz after round one was eliminated, the same goes for Pat after round two.
          Final results were Lisa Murkowski 136,330 votes or 53.70% and Kelly Tshibaka got 117,534 or 46.30%.

          In all the different rounds, Lisa outperformed Kelly T and would have won the election had it been a head to head between the two.

          The numbers don’t lie. Kelly T was not a good statewide candidate and her performance in RCV just illustrates that fact.

          • Pablo, I don’t think you are paying attention. Naomi is stating that Kelly Tshibaka would have primaried-out Lisa Murkowski under the primary system. RCV saved Lisa. That’s all.

          • Pablo, wasn’t Naomi referring to a party primary? I think she may be right about Kelly winning a closed party primary over Lisa. It seems that no candidate in the whole US demonstrates better than Lisa Murkowski how flawed and dysfunctional our primary/general election system is. If Lisa is indeed the most preferred candidate of all voters, then she should be elected. If she is not, then the election system is malfunctioning.

          • Marla and Brian,

            Lisa won a write in campaign against Joe Miller in 2010 after he won the Republican primary. What makes you think she wouldn’t have won the same way in 2022?

            Based on the RCV numbers from each round of counting, it is clear that those who voted for a democrat (Chesbro) ranked Lisa second and probably would have voted for her in a three way race between Chesbro (dem nominee) Kelly T (rep nominee) and Lisa (write in campaign)

          • Pablo,
            My point is that the State of Alaska has no business and no right to force Lisa to run as a write-in while all of the other candidates get to have their name on the ballot. I think she should sue over that. Also, Kelly seems to me to be a stronger candidate compared to Joe Miller. Lisa may have narrowly lost this last one as a write-in. Again, that’s an election failure, which demonstrates how the primary/general election system sometimes can malfunction.

        • Naomi,
          Yes, perhaps I am nitpicking a bit too much to demand a distinction between abolishing party primaries and RCV. Note that Alaska could have used Condorcet, Borda count, approval voting, score voting, STAR voting, etc instead of RCV. I am very adamant that if party primaries are eliminated, alleviating the vote-splitting problem by some means is an absolute prerequisite. Top-two is just so egregious. Be thankful that Scott Kendall didn’t advocate for a top-two system like California uses.

          • Brian,
            Closed Republican Primaries were used to keep Democrats from choosing the weakest Republican in the field of primary candidates. It’s an old, old, tool used by Democrats. That way, the Dems can either get their own candidate elected in the General Election, or use the fallback, which is to elect a RINO who votes with Dems. With RCV, the closed primary is eliminated and RINOs like Lisa Murkowski survive ONLY because Democrats consider her THEIR candidate. Lisa Murkowski is Exhibit A for RCV support.

        • Naomi, … I think Brian is more accurate.
          If the open primary/top four system was not in place, Murkowski likely would have had to do another write in campaign.
          The worst part about BM2 which gave us RCV is the open primary. I cannot imagine any justification for allowing a card carrying Republican to have a say in who the Democrats put on the general election ballot, or vice versa. Get rid of that, and the RCV/instant run off system would be a lot less controversial.
          (It still needs to go, but if we can deep six the jungle primary, it will go a LONG way making the election fairer.)

          • Democrats have ALWAYS messed with Republican candidates. Why do you think the Alaska Republican Party opposed Lisa Murkowski last year in favor of Kelly Tshibaka?
            Answer: Lisa Murkowski is a true Democrat hiding behind her parent’s long time membership in the Republican Party.

          • I believe you have that backwards. The top-four system prevents cross-party raiding, while the previous party primary system (open or closed) fails to prevent it. Both closed and open primaries give people who are not “true” party members the ability to participate in nomination proceedings of other parties. The so-called nonpartisan open “primary” of this top four system is NOT a nomination proceeding, so it is not vulnerable to cross-party raiding. Under this new system, parties have the ability to vet their members and hold their own nominations.

        • Naomi,
          No longer does Alaska allow a candidate’s loss of a primary (which is supposed to be a private nomination proceeding) to block the candidate from access to a public election. Otherwise, the most preferred candidate of all voters may not be elected, and that is an election failure. This new top-four system prevents that type of failure. If Murlowski is the most preferred candidate overall, she should be re-elected even if she does so as an independent or even a Democrat.

          In the future, perhaps Murkowski can be prevented from running as a Republican, but this would be the only purpose of a nomination proceeding. In other words, party nominations mostly serve the purpose of determining which candidates can use the party name and which ones cannot.

  2. The lefty evils are pushing all sorts of changes now! They feel that they have the upper hand now, so they are going for the prize. Alaska is a conservative state, but conservatives seem to have forgotten how to get involved and vote.

  3. Alaskans for Better Elections seem to wreak havoc and cause chaos. I believe 2020’s Ballot Measure 2 was passed by confusing verbiage on the ballot.

    • Not only that, but Measure 2 was egregiously and obviously unconstitutional, since it combined more than one completely unrelated issue in one ballot measure. And the radical leftist activist judge who ruled to the contrary, in violation of all law and common sense, is still sitting at the bench, suffering zero repercussions.

      • I am appalled that that judge allowed that. It clearly violated the single subject rule. On the other hand, I’m disgusted by the abuse of the single subject rule in Idaho and particularly in South Dakota. They make it so citizens can’t pass legitimate proposals that don’t violate the rule.

  4. No longer sleeping….your spot on! Confusion was the intention to woo in the low information voters and the plan worked as designed! Let’s not forget the help RCV got from Mike P. over at 650 KENI. Maybe Alaskans will wake up this time around.

  5. There is a compelling question. Why do Democrats love ranked choice while Republicans hate it? Somehow Democrats have figured out how to use ranked choice to their advantage while Republicans have failed to do so. Why? Instead of trying to eliminate ranked choice, why can’t Republicans learn to use it their advantage like Democrats do?

    • Maybe because underhanded cheating, and manipulation of the vote for obvious partisan advantage, is more of a Democratic Party thing than a Republican Party thing?

    • Great question Wayne. As is evidenced here time and time again some Republicans or conservatives simply refuse to reality. In a state made up of predominantly right leaning folks there should never be a statewide representative who sides with the hard left the way Peltola does. If ranking three or even four people on a ballot is too hard to understand for those who refuse to accept reality, it’s not surprising, but the rest of us should also face reality and understand that the truly insane will never accept reality. As long as we have people who demand a seat at the table, who try and shout anyone else with a rational and logical viewpoint down, as long as we allow the lunatics to drown out reality we should accept the reality that we aren’t a predominantly right leaning electorate but a left leaning electorate with a small group of truly insane people who dominate the electorate. And that truly insane who dominate the electorate would prefer it that way, just ask them they will tell you…they do so on this very forum almost daily. Just wait one will be along shortly to call me names and talk about Jews and Covid…

    • There are more Independent voters in Alaska than either Republican or Democrats. This many RCV was successful. The legislature came out of session with a budget that only required 1 extra day. This is largely because we had a new batch of legislators that were willing to work to get the job done as opposed to digging in heels along minority party lines. The repeal initiative comes off as sour grapes from the losers.

  6. There is a compelling question. Why do Democrats love ranked choice while Republicans hate it? Somehow Democrats have figured out how to use ranked choice to their advantage while Republicans have failed to do so. Why? Instead of trying to eliminate ranked choice, why can’t Republicans learn to use it to their advantage like Democrats do?

  7. With any luck, one more ballot petition will be gathering signatures next year, the petition to have Chugiak and Eagle River voters going to the polls to decide on the Eaglexit measure, allowing those two communities to secede from the municipality of Anchorage — and HIGH TIME it is for such a measure, too!

    And sorry, radical leftist Anchorage voters — you get no say in the matter whatsoever.
    Good bye (in advance), and good riddance.

  8. Simply said, RCV is a manipulator’s paradise. If you have a strong candidate you can’t beat mano-a-mano, get two or more candidates who can collectively pull in enough votes to defeat the stronger candidate on the second ballot. Easy. Peltola won that way, but Walker/Gara did not make it to the second ballot. If RCV stays the manipulators will figure out a way to be 100% effective and real preferences will cease. Period!End of real democracy.

    • The other inherent problem with Rank Choice Voting is that it is unauditable and not subject to any sort of recount, and therefore ripe for manipulation and corruption that could probably never be proven or even discovered.

      • I am pretty sure those are myths. RCV can be recounted and audited, although it may be very time-consuming and expensive to do. Note that the ballot data for Alaska RCV elections are made available to the public, so they can recount on their own. People who know how to parse a JSON file did, and verified the results.

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