Alaska Supreme Court rules against publicly funded elections

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July 13, 2010

By Kyle Maichle

JUNEAU, Alaska: The Alaska Supreme Court on July 9, 2010, ruled against a ballot initiative group seeking to ask voters to allow publicly funded elections[1].

The state's highest court upheld a lower court ruling over former Lieutenant Governor Sean Parnell refusing to certify a 2008 initiative sponsored by Alaskans for Clean Elections. The ballot initiative group wanted voters to approve public financing for elections which would be funded by a special oil tax. Parnell argued that the group violated the state's single-subject rule over voters being asked to approve a separate oil tax to fund the program[1].

Attorney Eric Croft, who represents Alaskans for Clean Elections, acknowledged that the group had the option to put two separate questions on the 2008 ballot. However, Croft felt that it would been very expensive for the group to put two separate questions on the ballot. This lead Croft to further argue that it's expensive for ballot initiative groups to comply with Alaska's single-subject rule[1].

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