Ballot Measure 2 Online Forum
By: Mary Olson
After hearing in one to one conversations that the ballot measures on the November Alaska ballot were difficult issues to understand, VIA and AFACT (Anchorage Faith in Action Communities Together) decided to work together to address these concerns. AFACT is our sister organization based in Anchorage. A TOC (temporary organizing committee) with members from both organizations met to determine a plan. It was decided an online informative forum, which would allow proponents for and against the initiatives, would be held on October 8 at 7 pm to inform people about Ballot Measure 2. The forum was streamed live on Facebook.
Ballot measure 2, if passed, would make three changes to Alaska’s election system. The first would require the disclosure of the “true sources” of political contributions over $2,000. The second would replace partisan primaries with open, top-four primaries for state executive, state legislative, and congressional offices. The third would establish rank-choice voting for general elections, including presidential elections.
Questions were submitted from the TOC committee members. A working group met to finalize questions. Caesar Marciales, a member of Palmer United Methodist Church and VIA, was chosen to moderate the forum. AFACT and VIA are non-partisan organizations, therefore they did not take any position on Ballot Measure 2. Rather, the forum was designed to be educational, relying on the involvement of persons representing both the Vote Yes and Vote No sides of Ballot Measure 2.
Stacy Lucason, the Deputy Campaign Manager of the Alaskans for Better Elections initiative, spoke on behalf of Vote Yes on Ballot Measure 2. Brett Huber, an organizer for a statewide campaign against Ballot Measure 2, spoke on behalf of Vote No on Ballot Measure 2. After an opening prayer by Sister Frances Vista of Catholic Native Ministry, a brief overview of Ballot Measure 2 was provided. Each presenter gave an opening statement followed by questions which each presenter answered. The order was alternated and the first speaker for each question was allowed a 30-second rebuttal. The speaker had received the questions ahead of time in order to be prepared. The forum ended with closing statements from Ms. Lucason and Mr. Huber.
A recorded video of the forum was available online after the live event. If you would like to view it, click here: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=685342595418974
So far, 417 people have engaged with the video online, which includes viewing it for at least 1 minute or more, commenting, and/or sharing the video.