ANCHORAGE, Alaska—A federal lawsuit has been filed on behalf of five Alaska voters over the state's provision of write-in candidate lists to voters. The voters' attorney, Kevin Clarkson, says the lawsuit was filed electronically Saturday.
The suit claims the state Division of Elections should not be able to provide voters with a list of write-in candidates at polling precincts, which the Alaska Supreme Court ruled Friday could be done in limited cases to help voters.
But Clarkson says that decision violates the Voting Rights Act of 1965, arguing in the lawsuit that any change that has to do with the Voting Rights Act must be submitted to the U.S. Department of Justice for approval.
Clarkson says approval was given to the Division of Elections when it first changed its procedure to add the write-in candidate list, but that's not the case for the recent Supreme Court decision -- which is why he's asking the federal court for a restraining order.
“The Alaska Supreme Court essentially created a circumstance in which the state now requires pre-clearance before it can use the procedure the Alaska Supreme Court has ordered to be used,” Clarkson said.
A spokesperson for the state Department of Law said he hadn't seen the lawsuit late Saturday.
Clarkson says he hopes a hearing will be set for Monday.
Contact Christine Kim at firstname.lastname@example.org