State Watch

Alaska Supreme Court affirms ruling eliminating ballot witness requirement

Alaska’s Supreme Court affirmed a ruling on Monday by a lower state court that threw out a requirement for Alaskans planning to vote by mail to have their ballots witnessed and signed by a person over the age of 18.

“Win for voters in Alaska! The state’s Supreme Court affirmed a preliminary injunction ELIMINATING the unconstitutional ballot witness requirement for voters. We’ll keep fighting coast to coast to protect voters from being disenfranchised amid the pandemic,” wrote Kristen Clark, president of the Lawyers’ Committee, on Twitter announcing the ruling.

A lower court had previously ruled that enforcing such a measure “impermissibly burdens the right to vote” amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which is expected to result in more Americans than ever before voting by mail, according to The Associated Press. 

Attorneys for the plaintiffs argued that the requirement effectively barred some Alaskans who do not live with someone over the age of 18 from voting.

State officials had fought against a lawsuit brought by the League of Women Voters and other organizations to cease enforcement of the measure, which they said would create unnecessary confusion.


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