Alaska Top-Two Bill Passes One Committee 4-3, is Sent to Another Committee

On Saturday, April 15, the Alaska top-two bill, HB 200, passed the House Judiciary Committee 4-3. But it must now go to the State Affairs Committee. The bill’s sponsor, Representative Gabrielle Ledoux, is a member of the House Judiciary Committee.

All the testimony taken on the bill on Friday, April 14, was opposed to the bill.

The Alaska legislature’s regular session ended April 15, but the legislature is now in special session and bills from the regular session can be considered. However, most of the attention in the special session will be on the state budget, not on ordinary bills.


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Alaska Top-Two Bill Passes One Committee 4-3, is Sent to Another Committee — 2 Comments

  1. Alaska has great elections right now. Granted, not for progressive and leftist minded people, but come on we saw what the disgrace of Top Two did to California elections and limiting choice in the general election for no good reason. In Alaska last year, the Top Two for the U.S. Senate would have been a Republican and Libertarian, and that’s suppose to be a legitimate choice? Top Two has no arguments going for it. All it does is hurt third-parties and limits choice in general elections, period.

    (And no, the fact that the Libertarian Party of Alaska would have been in the Top Two in the election I referenced does not debunk my point that it hurts third-parties.)

  2. It is false that all public testimony was against the bill (I apologize for any spelling of names, I was listening to a not-so-good audio recording).

    There was clearly one opponent, Ken Jacobbus, and one proponent Jason Olson. Jacobbus cited Richard Winger. Olson said that California Democratic Party v Jones was one of the worst Supreme Court decisions ever.

    There was a political scientist Andrew Sinclair who appeared to be neutral, with more of a research focus, than of advocacy. He did mention California SD-5 as a district where Top 2 may have produced a more moderate result in a R vs. R contest.

    It is hard to characterize the other four witnesses. They all testified via LIO offices (outside of Juneau), and it is possible that they regularly show up to testify on bills.

    William Harrington complained that they were taking up this bill when there were other more important issues. He suggested removing party labels from the ballot. He asked that the legislature please pass the bill (so he could laugh at the unintended consequences).

    Daniel Lynch, who characterized himself as a “nonpartisan supervoter” and said that the state should not provide primaries for political parties.

    George Pierce urged that the effective date be 2018 rather than 2020.

    Eugene Haberman complained that the bill does not permit neutral pollwatchers. But all the bill does is provide that all candidates may name a pollwatcher.

    Representative Reinbold cited the SCOTUS decision in the Washington Top 2 case, but she does not appear to understand that the SCOTUS rejected the district court and 9th circuit decisions, and remanded the case to the district court, which in large part upheld the Washington law. That decision was upheld by the 9th Circuit, and the SCOTUS did not take the appeal.

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