The DOJ Changes Its Tune, Preclears Alaska Write-in List

by Hans A. von Spakovsky

Late on Monday, the Justice Department precleared under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act the decision of the Alaska Supreme Court to authorize election officials to provide voters with a list of write-in candidates in the Miller–Murkowski Senate race. As a result, the federal lawsuit that was filed on Saturday was dropped.

As KTUU News reported, Kevin Clarkson, the attorney for the plaintiffs in the federal lawsuit, expressed his surprise at the preclearance, since it directly conflicted with DOJ’s actions last year in Kinston, N.C., when it objected to the removal of party affiliation because it would diminish the ability of minority voters to elect their candidate of choice. As Clarkson said, “It’s astonishing because it’s so quick, I don’t think in the history of the Department of Justice voting rights section, they’ve done this before, but it’s also astonishing because it contradicts a position the DOJ has taken in the past.”

Clarkson is correct on all counts, but what do you expect from the most politicized Justice Department in history?