The Alaska Supreme Court today overruled an Anchorage Superior Court judge’s decision to prevent today’s special primary election from being certified.
On Friday, Anchorage Superior Court Judge Una Gandbhir, appointed by Gov. Bill Walker, had agreed with the Alaska Human Rights Commission that blind people in Alaska had not been given adequate access to voting a private ballot in this all-mail-in election. The lawsuit had been filed by the commission on behalf of an Anchorage man, with just three days left of the 44-day election for the temporary replacement for Congressman Don Young, who died in March. The commission had not offered the court a remedy to the situation.
Saturday morning, the Supreme Court took a different view and vacated the temporary injunction, reversing the order to stop the certification of the special election primary, which ends at 8 pm on Saturday.
When reached by phone, Gov. Mike Dunleavy, said, “At a time when Alaskans are being asked to cast their votes in a new electoral system and that system was made more complicated due to the untimely passing of Congressman Young, it is somewhat relieving that the Supreme Court appears to have instituted a little bit more stability and did not allow a last-minute lawsuit to disrupt an election that Alaskans already are concerned about and that has wide-ranging implications.”
The Supreme Court did not expand on its reasoning, saying it would issue the full opinion at a later date. Story and column from Friday are linked below the order: