Ranked Choice Voting Worked in Alaska. Sarah Palin Came to CPAC To Complain About It.
Attendants of this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) heard many topics of contention raised, like transgender rights or tech companies. And also, oddly enough, Alaska’s U.S. House race.
In 2020, Alaskan voters approved a new electoral process in which every candidate of any party runs in the same primary, and the four with the most votes advance to the general election. On that ballot, voters rank the candidates in order of preference; if no candidate gets a majority, the lowest performer is eliminated, and their ballots are recounted with the second choices counted first, and so on until one candidate receives a majority. This process is called ranked choice voting (RCV).
After the March 2022 death of Rep. Don Young (R–Alaska), the state held a special election to fill his seat. Sarah Palin, the state’s erstwhile Republican governor, was one of more than four dozen candidates competing for the seat. Despite getting a comfortable plurality of the first round’s votes, she ultimately lost to Democrat Mary Peltola once all second- and third-choices were counted. The same dynamic played out again for the November general election and Peltola won reelection to a full term.
Last week, Palin traveled to the greater D.C. area to attend CPAC—not as an invited speaker but to inveigh against the voting system she blames for her loss.
Two booths dotted CPAC’s event space, one for StopRCV.com, an anti-ranked choice organization, and another from a group calling itself “Alaskans for Honest Elections,” dedicated to repealing the 2020 ballot measure. Art Mathias, the latter group’s leader, told Insider that Palin was its national spokesperson.
Mathias further said that the system caused intra-party conflict between Palin and fellow Republican candidate Nick Begich III, and that under a traditional electoral system, Palin “would have easily won.” At last year’s CPAC Texas, Palin herself told the crowd about ranked choice, “It’s bizarre, it’s convoluted, it’s confusing and it results
Article from Reason.com