Politics

Dunleavy administration agrees with, but does not join, Texas lawsuit seeking to overturn presidential election

The Alaska Department of Law said on Wednesday that the state will not join Texas and 17 other states in an attempt to convince the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the U.S. presidential election results.

In a written statement provided by assistant attorney general Maria Bahr, the department said “the narrow timeline prevented Alaska from joining the suit.”

“Alaskans and all Americans need to know that the national election was a free and fair election. If the opportunity presents itself, the Department of Law will engage with other attorneys general regarding the case,” the department said.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s office did not respond to a question about its intention on Wednesday, but Wednesday evening, the governor said in a Facebook post his administration “became aware of the invitation to join the election lawsuit filed by Texas against Pennsylvania on the evening prior to the deadline. This gave us very little time to review and analyze the complaint.”

My administration became aware of the invitation to join the election lawsuit filed by Texas against Pennsylvania on the...

Posted by Governor Mike Dunleavy on Wednesday, December 9, 2020

The statements from the Department of Law and the governor came after five Republican members of the Alaska House wrote two separate letters to Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy, asking him to direct the Department of Law to join the 17 additional states in a legal brief supporting Texas.

The five Republicans are Reps. Ben Carpenter, R-Nikiski; George Rauscher, R-Sutton; Colleen Sullivan-Leonard, R-Wasilla; and Sarah Vance, R-Homer, along with Rep.-elect Ron Gillham, R-Kenai.

Alaska state Reps. and Reps.-elect Gillham; Rauscher; David Eastman, R-Wasilla; Kevin McCabe, R-Big Lake; Tom McKay, R-Anchorage; Christopher Kurka, R-Wasilla; and state Sen. Lora Reinbold, R-Eagle River, on Thursday requested to file an amicus brief in support of Texas with the Supreme Court.

Texas is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to disallow results from Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Georgia — states Biden won. In part, its lawsuit asks that Electoral College voters from those states be prohibited from casting their votes as scheduled on Monday.

In those four states, lawsuits and executive orders expanded access to early voting and absentee voting. Texas’ lawsuit says those changes, because they did not come from state legislatures, are an “unconstitutional relaxation of ballot-integrity protections in those states’ election laws.”

“We agree with the State of Texas that the election integrity of all states and our country needs to be reviewed and assured,” the Alaska Department of Law’s statement said.

In separate comments on the conservative Must Read Alaska podcast, the governor recently said, “if there is any suspicion of fraud, which there is, that really needs to be looked into. That really needs to be investigated,” KTOO reported.

According to KTOO, the governor on the podcast also expressed concerns about what a Biden administration could mean for Alaska’s economy, and said, “in the outside chance — and I’d like to word it that way — that there is a new administration, we will set up a relationship with that new administration and do the best we can to work with them.”

No irregularities have been found on a scale large enough to change the result of the presidential election, and each of the four challenged states has issued statements rejecting what they say is an outside attempt to change the result of local elections.

[Anchorage state Rep. Lance Pruitt challenges 11-vote election loss in court]

If Texas were to win, Alaska could be affected. The state Supreme Court relaxed an absentee voting requirement earlier this year, ruling that absentee voters did not need to have a second person co-sign their ballot due to concerns about the coronavirus pandemic. A record number of Alaskans chose to vote absentee in the November election.

Here is the Alaska Department of Law’s full statement:

We agree with the State of Texas that the election integrity of all states and our country needs to be reviewed and assured. The concept of one person, one vote, needs to be absolute because it is the foundation upon which our country is built. There are very important questions raised by this case that need to be answered quickly.

While the narrow timeline prevented Alaska from joining the suit, the Department of Law will be following the case closely and looks forward to a quick decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that answers the critical questions brought forth by the case and affirms the bedrock principles by which election integrity is built upon.

Alaskans and all Americans need to know that the national election was a free and fair election. If the opportunity presents itself, the Department of Law will engage with other attorneys general regarding the case.

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