“Trust The People” Initiative
Harry and other Democratic legislators filed a petition with the Division of Elections to place an initiative on the 2004 ballot that would allow Alaskans to fill a vacant U.S. Senate seat by special election. The “Trust The People” ballot initiative came about after Frank Murkowski appointed his daughter Lisa to his Senate seat after being elected governor in 2002.
Prior to the successful passage of the 2004 ballot measure, the governor could appoint a replacement to a vacant Senate seat. The “Trust The People” initiative abolished the practice of appointments and required a special election in all cases except when the vacancy occurs within 60 days of a primary election.
Lt. Gov. Loren Leman, the Republican chief of the Division of Elections, twice removed the measure from the Nov. 2 ballot but was ordered by the Alaska Supreme Court to put it back on.
Alaskans approved Ballot Measure 4 (the “Trust The People” initiative) 55.6% to 44.4%