Former Alaska GOP Gov. Sarah Palin’s hopes to return to politics will be decided Saturday in a controversial by-mail special primary in Alaska on Saturday, although the results might not be immediately known.
Palin is among 48 candidates vying for the seat left vacant by the death in March of the late Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska. Young held the seat for 49 years.
“Hopefully Alaska will get out today and vote for Sarah Palin in the special primary,” former President Donald Trump wrote in a Truth Social post Saturday. “She is a great person who will never let you down!”
The top four finishers in the House and Senate race Saturday, which includes the seat of Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, which Trump-backed Kelly Tshibaka is vying for, advance to November’s general election.
It is the first election held under a system approved by voters in 2020 that ends party primaries and uses ranked choice voting in general elections.
Prominent candidates in the race include former Gov. Sarah Palin, Nick Begich, Tara Sweeney and Josh Revak, all Republicans; independent Al Gross; and Democrats Christopher Constant and Mary Peltola. A self-described “independent, progressive, democratic socialist” whose legal name is Santa Claus has gotten attention but has not been raising money.
The special primary for Alaska’s only House seat moved forward as planned Saturday following a tense legal fight over ballot access issues that had cast a shadow over the election.
The Alaska Supreme Court on Saturday reversed and vacated a lower court order that barred state elections officials from certifying the results of the election until visually impaired voters were given a “full and fair” opportunity to participate.
Attorneys for the state had interpreted Friday’s order from Superior Court Judge Una Gandbhir as preventing elections officials from concluding voting as scheduled Saturday. They asked the Supreme Court to reverse the order.
The high court said an explanation of its reasoning would follow at a later time.
Gandbhir on Friday ruled Alaska elections officials could not certify the results of the by-mail special primary until visually impaired voters “are provided a full and fair opportunity to participate” in the election. She did not specify what that would entail.
The ruling came in a case filed this week by Robert Corbisier, executive director of the Alaska State Commission for Human Rights. Corbisier sued state elections officials on behalf of a person identified as B.L., a registered voter in Anchorage with a visual impairment.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.