1. Application for Recount – House District 27, captioned on appeal as Garness, et al. v. Lt. Governor Kevin Meyer
(Filed Alaska Division of Elections, December 2, 2020; Appeal voluntarily dismissed December 31, 2020, S-17951)
State of Alaska Division of Elections: On December 2, 2020, a group of Alaskan voters requested a recount from the Division of Elections of the 27th District House race due to allegations that election officials made mistakes. In the election, Liz Snyder (D) defeated Minority Leader Lance Pruitt (R) to join the Alaska House of Representatives. The recount added one vote to Pruitt’s total, leaving the outcome of the race unchanged. Malia Barto and Cheyenne Mathews, “Liz Snyder still House District 27 winner after recount Friday,” alaskasnewssource.com, December 2, 2020
Alaska Supreme Court: Garness, et al. v. Lt. Gov. Kevin Meyer, an appeal of the Division of Elections recount and complaint about election improprieties, was filed in the Alaska Supreme Court on December 9, 2020. On December 31, 2020, prior to entry of a final order, Plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed their appeal. Plaintiffs’ allegation of election improprieties was consolidated with Lance Pruitt, et al. v. Lt. Gov. Kevin Meyer, et al.
Outcome: Since the Plaintiffs did not prevail, this is considered a loss.
2. Lance Pruitt, et al. v. Lt. Gov. Kevin Meyer, et al.
(Filed December 9, 2020, 3AN-20-09661CI; Dismissed in part on December 22, 2020, and remainder on December 29, 2020, 3AN-20-09661CI; Affirmed January 8, 2021, S-17971; Appeal of attorneys’ fees pending)
Alaska Superior Court: Lance Pruitt, et al. v. Lt. Gov. Kevin Meyer, et al. was filed in Alaska Superior Court 3rd Judicial District, Anchorage, on December 9, 2020. Pruitt, the Republican candidate in the Alaska House District 27 election of November 3, 2020, lost his seat to Democrat Liz Snyder by 11 votes. Rashah McChesney, “Alaska Supreme Court strikes down Rep. Lance Pruitt’s challenge to his election loss,” alaskapublic.org, January 8, 2021
His case alleged lack of notice of change in one polling place and an improper procedure for review of absentee ballots. Pruitt sought proper tabulation or overturning the election. In her orders of December 22 and December 29, 2020, the Hon. Josie Garton, an Independent appointee, dismissed Pruitt’s complaint for failing to properly plead a necessary element of his claim: that election misconduct changed the election outcome.
Alaska Supreme Court: On December 30, 2020, Pruitt filed a Notice of Appeal in the Alaska Supreme Court. The case was assigned to the Hon. Joel Bolger, the Hon. Peter Maassen, the Hon. Daniel Winfree, and the Hon. Dario Borghesan, all Republican appointees, and the Hon. Susan Carney, an Independent appointee. In its order of January 8, 2021, the Supreme Court affirmed Judge Garton’s decision and remanded the case back to the Superior Court to declare the winner of the election.
Alaska Superior Court: On January 11, 2021, the Superior Court declared Snyder the winner in the House District 27 election. On January 12, 2021, Snyder filed a motion for attorneys’ fees and costs. On July 16, 2021, after having awarded Snyder attorneys’ fees and costs, Plaintiff filed a motion for reconsideration which was denied.
Alaska Supreme Court: On September 9, 2021, Plaintiff filed an appeal of Judge Garton’s order regarding attorneys’ fees and costs in the Alaska Supreme Court, S18191. This appeal remained pending as of December 8, 2021.
Outcome: The Plaintiff lost.