Dear Fellow Alaskan, 

In the past few days, we observed both Elizabeth Peratrovich Day and Presidents’ Day – holidays that allow us to honor and reflect on the contributions of leaders who shaped our country. Our system of representative democracy works when the people we elect reflect the values of and are accountable to the people who elect them. All voices need to be at the table to develop policies that work across our state and nation.

Alaska’s election system gives voters the right to participate in every state-funded election, puts the power to choose their representatives in their hands, and requires winning candidates to earn broad support in their communities. The first election under the new system resulted in elected officials who represented all points on the political spectrum and increased generational and racial diversity in the state legislature.

However, our system is under threat.

A repeal initiative petition was submitted in January and is now being reviewed by the Division of Elections, which has until mid-March to determine whether there are enough valid signatures in at least 30 of the 40 Alaska house districts to put the initiative on the ballot this year.

But some legislators aren’t waiting to let the voters decide. Representative Sarah Vance moved her repeal bill – House Bill 4 – out of her committee the first week of session, despite overwhelming testimony in opposition last year. Her bill goes even farther than the repeal petition and also reverses campaign transparency requirements voters put in place.

House Bill 4 is now in the hands of the House Finance Committee and has not been scheduled for a hearing. Right now, the most important thing you can do to support open primaries and ranked choice voting is sign up as a supporter and volunteer to testify if the bill is scheduled.

Representative democracy works when citizens make their voices heard and elected officials listen and respect the will of the voters. I hope you’ll join me in telling legislators that we don’t want them to subvert the will of the voters and roll back our hard-won election reforms.

Juli Lucky, Executive Director

Alaskans for Better Elections