In a Thursday press reelase, the state of Alaska has expressed its opposition to the federal requirement that Alaska obtain federal pre-clearance for changes the state makes to its election process. The announcement comes more than a week after a U.S. District court judge ruled in Anchorage that preparations for the next Alaska election can proceed, pending federal approval of a revised plan to redraw the state’s election districts based on data from the 2010 Census. The judge didn’t rule on the merits of the plan, but did pave the way for a three-judge panel to consider on June 28 whether election planning can proceed pending final approval from the U.S. Department of Justice under Section 5 of the U.S. Voting Rights Act.
… “Under Section 5, if the state wants to move a polling place across the street, it has to get federal permission. If it wants to change the wording on a form, it has to get federal permission,” Alaska Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell, who oversees the state Division of Elections, was quoted as saying in the press release. “This federal intrusion into our state elections is unnecessary, burdensome, and unconstitutional. Congress has no basis to micromanage Alaska’s elections. It’s time to get out from under this yoke.”