(Anchorage, Alaska) – Alaskans will not need a witness signature on their absentee ballots for the November general election because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Alaska Supreme Court ruled today. The state will also be required to do voter outreach to notify state residents regarding this change, and must count all unsigned ballots. The following is a statement from Pooja Chaudhuri, an attorney with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law:
“No Alaska voter will have to sacrifice their health and well-being to cast their vote this November. Today’s ruling is another victory in the fight against voter suppression efforts. While Alaska’s election officials failed to take common-sense steps to protect the fundamental right to vote, we are happy the courts ruled in our favor.”
The lawsuit, Arctic Village Council v. Meyer, was filed by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Native American Rights Fund, American Civil Liberties Union and ACLU of Alaska on Sept. 8. Last week, Anchorage Superior Court Judge Dani Crosby ruled the requirement “impermissibly burdens the right to vote” during the pandemic.
Read the court order here.