Brett Huber and I do not see eye to eye on almost anything. He is a Republican. I am a Democrat. He ran Mike Dunleavy’s campaign for governor. I ran Mark Begich’s. But we do agree, Ballot Measure 2 would be a disaster for Alaska.
The other side claims the “No” campaign, Defend Alaska Elections, is backed by political operatives and party bosses, but Brett and I are regular Alaskans who care about voting and want our votes to count. Don’t let them scare you. Unlike their multimillion-dollar dark money campaign that draws 99.7% of its funding from outside of Alaska and billionaires, Defend Alaska Elections has raised 70% of its donations from right here in the Last Frontier.
Ironically, these same billionaires promise their ballot scheme will rid elections of dark money. Though Brett and I agree there is too much money in politics, this claim from the “Yes” campaign is a flat-out lie. As written, ballot measures are exempted from the dark-money ban despite being the primary source of outside dark money in Alaska. They want to rewrite the rules for everyone but themselves. Yes, we need a national conversation that looks holistically at how we fund campaigns, but this ballot measure is not the way to do it.
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Ballot Measure 2 would also institute ranked-choice voting and open primaries. And although these may seem like simple, common-sense approaches to election reform, they are just as flawed.
Contrary to what we are hearing, ranked-choice voting will force you to vote for candidates you don’t support or risk your ballot not being counted. Should you fail to correctly fill out a complicated bubble chart, your ballot could be thrown out. That’s not how democracy works. I take my time researching candidates and want their values to align with mine — I don’t want to rank my options and end up voting for second, third or fourth best. My vote is my voice and I want to use it clearly.
Finally, Ballot Measure 2 would open Alaska primaries to one open jungle primary. Areas all over the state that lean heavy Republican or heavy Democrat could see candidates of only one political ilk on the general ballot. Independents would have it worse, losing their ability to petition onto the general ballot. This doesn’t create more choice, it limits them. This could discourage people from voting and limit the ability of voters to send a diversity of thought to Juneau.
Brett and I may vote in opposition most of the time, but we are happy to come together to help protect Alaska elections. We know the importance of voting and ensuring Alaskans have a fair say in who represents them in Juneau. Ballot Measure 2 takes away our choice and our voice. Please join us and vote no on Ballot Measure 2.
Nora Morse is a lifelong Alaskan living in Anchorage.
Brett Huber is a 36-year Alaskan residing in Anchorage and campaign manager for Defend Alaska Elections, Vote No on 2.