Alaska Republicans ditch Trumpism with unprecedented all-mail-in election to fill Don Young's seat
Donald Trump (AFP)

Alaskans will be asked to vote almost entirely by mail in coming months to fill the Congressional seat vacated by the death of Rep. Don Young.

That of course defies a basic tenet of Trumpism. Former President Donald Trump’s false claims that mail-in ballots are corrupt have underscored his Big Lie that the 2020 election was stolen from him. And as Politico reported last week, the effort to create public doubts in the process was put in motion earlier in 2020 than previously reported.

But Alaska Republicans are in the awkward position of conducting a special election to fill Young’s seat that can be expected to disprove Trump’s lies once again.

“Alaskans will pick a temporary replacement for the late U.S. Rep. Don Young in special elections on June 11 and Aug. 16, said Lt. Gov. Kevin Meyer, Gov. Mike Dunleavy and members of his administration on Tuesday,” the Anchorage Daily News reported.

“In an unprecedented move, the June 11 primary will take place mostly by mail, with ballots sent automatically to all Alaska voters registered at least 30 days before the election. The Aug. 16 general election will occur on the same day, and on the same ballot, as Alaska’s regular primary election.

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“The June 11 primary would be the state’s first statewide by-mail election, Gail Fenumiai, director of the Alaska Division of Elections, said at a news conference with administration officials. The Aug. 16 general election would also be the first campaign decided by Alaska’s new ranked choice voting system, adopted in a citizens initiative in 2020.

“She said that given the short notice, a possible shortage of poll workers and logistics issues, there was no other option.

“We have a lot of challenges this year. It’s probably the toughest year that I know of, to have an election,” Meyer said.”

Apparently even presumed skeptics about mail-in voting will reluctantly be embracing it for the purpose of filling Young’s seat.

“State Sen. Mike Shower, R-Wasilla, has expressed concerns about the security of the state’s existing election system and has proposed legislation to change it,” the Daily News reported. “I don’t know that the administration has another option right now, as bad as it is,” he said of the prospect of a by-mail election.”

And there was this:

“Dunleavy and members of his administration considered other options. On Sunday, the governor asked legislative leaders by teleconference whether it would be possible to pass a law by Friday canceling the special primary in favor of a single election in August.

“Lawmakers declined. Though theoretically possible, agreeing to Dunleavy’s request would require revising the language of Ballot Measure 2, the citizens’ initiative overhauling Alaska’s election system that a narrow majority of participating voters approved in 2020.

“The first election out of the gate after the passage of a citizens initiative should not be one where we changed the rules,” said Senate President Peter Micciche, R-Soldotna, though he said he has some worries about the by-mail election process.”

So now it appears Young’s seat will be filled by a process the Republicans claim to distrust. Whether the losers will claim fraud remains to be seen.

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