Independent Voter Project

Letter of Support for Alaska Nonpartisan Top-Two Primary Bill, HB 200

Dear Representative Gabrielle LeDoux,

On behalf of the Independent Voter Project (IVP), I am writing in support of House Bill 200.

HB 200 would ensure that taxpayer-funded and publicly-administered elections serve all Alaskan voters. Unlike a traditional partisan primary election system where the purpose is to elect a private nominee, the purpose of a nonpartisan primary is to narrow the field of candidates, regardless of party.

Because traditional partisan primaries, whether open or closed, serve a private purpose, they create an inherent conflict between the private rights of the political parties and the public purpose of our election process. This is why open and closed primaries continue to be the subject of legislative and legal challenges across the country.

Every voter has a fundamental right to participate at all critical stages of the election process without being forced to join a political party. It is this same fundamental right of non-association that the Court recognized in Democratic Party v Jones.

A top-two nonpartisan primary is a legally tested and proven way to protect the rights of both parties and individual voters. It has the added benefit of incentivizing legislators and candidates to represent everybody, not just members of their political party.

IVP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan 501(c)(4) organization dedicated to better informing voters about important public policy issues and encouraging nonpartisan voters to participate in the electoral process. IVP authored California’s nonpartisan “top-two” primary (Proposition 14) in 2010 and the City of San Diego’s successful 2016 top-two initiative, Measure K.

The Independent Voter Project strongly supports HB 200.

Sincerely,

S. Chad Peace
Attorney
Independent Voter Project


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