Rep. Sarah Vance, R-Homer, speaks at a kickoff for her re-election campaign on Sunday, June 14, 2020, at Karen Hornaday Park in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Rep. Sarah Vance, R-Homer, speaks at a kickoff for her re-election campaign on Sunday, June 14, 2020, at Karen Hornaday Park in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Three peninsula legislators urged Dunleavy to join Texas election lawsuit

Dunleavy joined lawsuit challenging election results in four states before it was rejected

Days before Gov. Mike Dunleavy supported Texas in a lawsuit challenging election results in four battleground states, two Kenai Peninsula representatives and one representative-elect sent Dunleavy a letter urging him to take that action.

On Friday, according to the Associated Press, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the Texas lawsuit filed against Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, saying Texas “has not demonstrated a judicially cognizable interest in the manner in which another State conducts its elections.”

In a letter dated Tuesday, Dec. 8, Rep. Sarah Vance (R-Homer), Rep. Ben Carpenter (R-Nikiski), and Rep.-elect Ron Gillham (R-Kenai), sent the governor a letter asking him to direct the attorney general to join the Texas lawsuit. In his filing, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sought to have the 62 electoral votes of the four states invalidated, denying President-elect Joe Biden the more than 270 Electoral College votes needed to win over President Donald Trump.

Other legislators sent separate letters to Dunleavy asking him to join the Texas lawsuit, including Rep. George Rauscher (R-Sutton) and Rep. Colleen-Sullivan (R-Wasilla), the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman reported.

Last Thursday, Dunleavy joined the lawsuit by filing a friend of the court brief in support.

“I’m pleased that he (Dunleavy) joined on,” Vance said last Friday before the lawsuit had been rejected. “This is about defending our election integrity and upholding our Constitution.”

On Monday, the Electoral College met to vote, with Biden and his running mate, Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris winning 306 votes, according to the Associated Press.

Vance said the Texas lawsuit was not about Trump.

“It’s about our election integrity moving forward and making sure every vote is counted,” she said. “… When there is this much speculation and doubt, we need to address that and provide clarity to the people.”

The letter from peninsula representatives and representative-elect also questioned the Alaska Supreme Court’s ruling in a case brought by the Arctic Village Council and others that people voting by absentee ballot did not need a witness signature. The plaintiffs said that because of the COVID-19 pandemic, some voters would be at risk trying to get a witness on their absentee ballots.

“The court’s actions call into question the legitimacy of the 2020 election results and will erode the integrity of all future elections if the policy remains in effect,” they wrote.

Vance won reelection over challenger Kelly Cooper, with 6,479 votes to 5,443. Cooper, however, prevailed in the absentee vote tally, with 3,809 votes to Vance’s 2,625.

Vance said she had concerns with the waiving of the absentee ballot witness requirement.

“The bigger issue is our judiciary changed the election laws prior to the election when only the Legislature has authority to change the law,” she said.

When asked last Friday if she accepted that Biden and Harris had been elected, before the Electoral College solidified that win, Vance said she didn’t.

“No,” she said. “There’s too much question about the election process in many of these states.”

On Tuesday, in a follow-up email, Vance responded to the U.S. Supreme Court decision.

“I am disappointed SCOTUS refused to hear the merits of the case,” she wrote. “Election integrity is not a partisan issue, but affects every American. I had hoped they would address the issue so voters would have full confidence of a free and fair election.”

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