Former Alaska GOP Governor Sarah Palin’s hopes of returning to politics will be decided in a contentious special mail-in primary in Alaska on Saturday, though the results will not be immediately known.
Palin is among 48 candidates vying for the seat left vacant by the March death of the late Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska. Young held the seat for 49 years.
“Let’s hope Alaska comes out today and votes for Sarah Palin in the special primary,” former President Donald Trump wrote in a Truth Social article on Saturday. “He’s a great person who will never let you down!”
The top four runners-up in the House and Senate race on Saturday, which includes Senator Lisa Murkowski’s R-Alaska seat, for which Trump-backed Kelly Tshibaka is running, qualify for November’s general election. .
It is the first election held under a voter-approved system in 2020 that ends party primaries and uses preferential-choice voting in general elections.
Prominent candidates in the race include former Governor Sarah Palin, Nick Begich, Tara Sweeney and Josh Revak, all Republicans; independent Al Gross; and Democrats Christopher Constant and Mary Peltola. A self-proclaimed “independent, progressive and democratic socialist” whose legal name is Santa Claus has attracted attention but failed to raise funds.
The special primary for Alaska’s only House seat moved ahead as planned on Saturday after a tense legal battle over ballot access issues that had cast a shadow over the election.
On Saturday, the Alaska Supreme Court overturned and reversed a lower court order barring state election officials from certifying election results until visually impaired voters have a “full opportunity and fair” to participate.
State prosecutors had interpreted Superior Court Judge Una Gandbhir’s Friday order as preventing election officials from concluding the vote as scheduled on Saturday. They asked the Supreme Court to overturn the order.
The high court said an explanation of its reasoning would follow later.
Gandbhir ruled on Friday that election officials in Alaska could not certify the results of the special primary by mail until voters with visual impairments “have had the opportunity to participate fully and fairly” in the election. She did not specify what that would entail.
The decision came in a case filed this week by Robert Corbisier, executive director of the Alaska State Commission on Human Rights. Corbisier sued state election officials on behalf of someone identified as BL, a registered voter in Anchorage with a visual impairment.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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