JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) – The Alaska Supreme Court has decided that Democrats should be allowed to let independent candidates run in party primaries.

The court’s decision affirms a lower court ruling. A detailed opinion is expected later.

The Alaska Democratic Party challenged a law requiring that primary election candidates be registered members of the party whose nomination they’re seeking.

A Superior Court judge found the state was restricting Democrats’ attempt to appeal to independent voters by not letting unaffiliated candidates participate in Democratic primaries.

The state appealed, arguing that if a party nominee doesn’t have to identify with their nominating party, the system the state uses to regulate political party status and ballot access won’t make sense.

Supreme Court Chief Justice Craig Stowers raised doubts with the majority opinion but stopped short of dissenting.

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