Democrats Take Write-In Case to Supreme Court

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

The Alaska Democratic Party is taking its fight with the state division of elections to the Alaska Supreme Court.

The Democrats filed suit this week against the state and elections division director Gail Fenumiai for allowing lists of write-in candidates to be viewed on request at early voting polling places.

The Republican Party of Alaska joined the suit with the Democrats, and the Lisa Murkowski campaign joined the suit on the side of the state.  A lower court ruled the lists at polling places a violation of the state’s election laws.  The state then appealed the matter to the Supreme Court.

The state’s highest court decided late Wednesday to stay a Superior Court decision that would have blocked the lists from being available to voters wanting assistance on a write in vote.

The Supreme Court gave the plaintiffs until Wednesday to file a response.  The Democrats filed for a review of the Superior Court decision late this afternoon.

Patti Higgins is chair of the Alaska Democratic Party.  She says the party will continue to fight against having the lists at polling places.

Plaintiffs in the case say the lists give write in candidate Lisa Murkowski an unfair advantage.

The state has filed for expedited review of the case, and has asked the Supreme Court justices to hear the case before the close of business on Friday.

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