Supreme Court allows ‘jungle primary’ and ranked voting on general ballot



As expected by most political observers, the Alaska Supreme Court upheld a ruling that, if voters approve in November, will take political party power away from Republicans during future primary elections, opening up primary ballots so all voters can vote the Republican ticket.

Currently, the Alaska Republican Party has a partially closed primary — people can vote the Republican ticket if they are not registered with another official party, such as Democrat, Alaska Independence, or Libertarian. Republicans do this so others cannot jump over onto their primary and vote in the weaker candidate. Other parties in Alaska have open primaries.

The ruling favors a radical group funded by Outside money, “Alaskans for Better Elections,” and it means in November, Alaska voters will be given the choice to vote yes or no on this question.

But it won’t be that simple. There are three distinct things that the ballot initiative would change about elections, but most voters won’t get past the first item: “Dark money.”

The ballot question, as approved by the Supreme Court, leads with a statement about “dark money” in campaigns, although the term “dark money” is not defined. The proponents likely hope that is enough to get them their real goal, which is to shatter the current election system and put in place a method that gives Democrats a better chance of winning elections, through the other two changes the initiative calls for: “Rank choice voting” and open “jungle primaries.”

Rank choice voting and jungle primaries means Sen. Lisa Murkowski would not face a serious challenge if she runs for office again. Currently, she would find it difficult to win a Republican primary. Scott Kendall, who is backing the Better Elections initiative, is thought to be advancing this ballot question to assist her.

The justices ruled that it’s up to the people to decide how voting will be done, and they agreed with the lower court’s ruling that people can change their election system and that the ballot language as presented is acceptable.


  1. The Supreme Court of Alaska just proved that it also can’t count. Yesterday they admit to being racist, today they think that three individual subjects are some how a single subject. These people need to be removed from the seats they have as they are incapable of judging anything.

    • I think the single subject part is that the people should be able to decide how they want the election process to go. Everything else is wandering into the weeds.

  2. There is no earthly reason to have an “open” Primary for everybody. We could save hundreds of thousands of dollars to just have one election if we eliminated the Primary altogether. I am a Republican so I guess I’m looking at this from my insulated rose colored glasses, but why would we do this? And why, oh why, can’t we get even one Democrat to push for just closing their Primary? We all know the answer–because a lot of Democrats know they can’t get elected in red AK without deceit of some kind.

  3. I thought the US Supreme Court, in a case brought by the California Democrats, ruled that each party may decide who can vote in their primaries and can exclude people who are registered with other parties. How does this ruling comply with that ruling?

  4. I remember when Mike Gravel was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1969 after Gruening died. The GOP put up C.R. Lewis and a couple other candidates in the primary. C.R. Lewis was a member of the John Birch Society which was a radical Right wing conspiracy organization. It was an open primary so many Dems crossed over and voted for Lewis who ran away with the primary. Almost anyone could have beaten Gravel in the general election.. Anyone but a John Bircher. All those Dems who voted for him in the primary knew exactly what they were doing and then voted for Gravel, who won in a landslide even though Lewis got over 8000 more votes than Gravel in the primary.
    That is what happens in open primaries. And that is what spurred the change back then to what it is now.

    • Mike Gravel beat Ernest Gruening in the 1968 Democratic primary. Gruening didn’t die until 1974. I found it apropos, that Clark Gruening beat Gravel in the Democratic Primary in 1980.

      • AKBOSCO. Thanks for the correction. I remember now how Gravel beat Gruening in the primary. Pretty interesting family, the Gruenings!

    • Those radical right wing kooks, thinking there’s a commie with a paint can and a brick behind every Starbucks. And who is this John Birch guy anyway? Some alt-right neo-nazi?

      • Jay, Time to take your meds. And don’t forget that you have to back to the home by 5:00 PM.

        • The ” radical Right wing conspiracy organization” predicted everything happening now. But alas, some people think it’s a sin to be anti-communist. Wonder where they got that notion?

  5. Democrats are trying to steal the election again. They vote for a Republican they know they can beat in the general. Ranked voting means that both candidates could be the same party. So much for representation.

  6. Cry me a river. It’s the best way out of this mess, an enhancement to democracy. As far as ‘outside money’ goes, darling Suzanne, please use those two words when they apply to leverents in your warren – ya know, just to be fair and balanced.

    • What’s “this mess”… 244 years of robust democracy’s suddenly too inconvenient, too uncomfortable?
      Just who the hell decides American democracy needs to be “enhanced”?
      Inside, outside money don’t mean a thing. Doesn’t take an IQ much above room temp to figure out corrupting America’s voting system, means ending the best system of government that ever inhabited this planet.
      Thought about unintended consequences of such epic self-destructiveness?
      Current events might offer a hint.
      But never mind, our cute and cuddly government’ll be there to care for us and feed us, until it’s not, then we may cry all the rivers we wish,
      …but who’ll listen, much less give a microscopic damn about fools who killed the goose that laid their golden eggs, then cried about the egg shortage?

  7. Looks like Alaska’s Activist Supreme Court corrupted the state’s voting system enough to help the Democrat Socialist Party get their permanent, veto-proof majority in the House and Senate.
    In other words, the Court successfully completed what the Great Alaska LeDoux Vote Experiment started which means Alaska’s fairly well finished, sinking into California-ism.
    Alaska’s been good to us, seems rude just to let her go without some sort of epic last stand.

    So Gentle Readers, can we save her? How and where do we start?

  8. Wow, whine much..How about one person, one vote, anybody can run, no parties to grovel for.

    Might be nice to get some people who love the state without kissing any parties..Well you know.

  9. One person, one vote is not the issue. The issue of the century is the “supreme” court of Alaska taking that hard left turn, individually and as a panel of ‘impartial’ legal arbiters for the citizens, supposedly on legal and constitutional issues only, and shoving the citizens’ noses in it. I have been trying to think of the appropriate phrasing to illustrate my complete disgust with the Alaska “supremes”. Can’t come up with the right words to describe it without being rude, obnoxious and maybe even taking a very important name in vain. These “supremes” are openly attempting to alter Alaska’s history and pollute our voting system with their “social” BS rules and dictates for the lower courts. Justice is not being served. Leftists are. The true face of the Alaska “supreme” court justices are on full display. They seem determined to not divagate from their one course of leftism and throw it in the face of Alaskans. They think they are, indeed, “above the law”.
    There appears to be several news outlets interested in the story. Not the leftist version. The truth. We will see. Alaskans aren’t alone facing this leftist assault at every level, from community to federal. All that is at stake is our state and country.
    Remember in November.

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