RANKED CHOICE ALLOWS VOTERS WHO PICK LOSERS TO HAVE THEIR VOTES COUNTED MORE THAN ONCE
Alaska Democrats and the Alaska Republican Party have something in common: They believe the upcoming November ballot initiative that would drastically change elections — and not in a good way.
Kay Brown, former executive director of the Alaska Democratic Party, told the House State Affairs Committee this week that the new proposal for elections “is not going to improve transparency. Labels mean something and parties mean something.” Brown was punching hard on the ballot initiative, explaining that candidates could hide their true political affiliation from voters if it passes.
That’s when the committee chair, Democrat Rep. Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins, interrupted Brown and told her her time was up.
Yes, but this was Kay Brown, herself a former legislator, and longtime political activist. She was not intimidated.
“The prior speaker went over his time as well,” Brown said, referring to the proponents of the Better Elections initiative, who had held forth for an extended period of time.
Brown continued to explain that the ballot measure’s concept of “dark money” is confusing, and has little definition. At this point, Kreiss-Tomkins had lost the battle of wills and simply allowed her to finish.
“This measure impacts all Alaskans and fundamental voting rights,” she said.
Brown also inferred that the person behind the initiative, Scott Kendall, was working to make sure that Sen. Lisa Murkowski did not have to face another primary election.
That particular item was not the concern of Glenn Clary, chairman of the Alaska Republican Party, who next lobbed bomb after bomb at the initiative, saying it would destroy the election process in Alaska and is unconstitutional.
“Let me begin by addressing every Alaskan Voter and encouraging each of them to keep your right to vote by Voting no on Ballot Initiative #2,” he said.
“This initiative is anything but ‘better.’ The proposed initiative is extremely inferior compared to Alaska’s current election system. This proposed ballot initiative is a recipe for disaster and will destroy the very foundations of freedoms that this great state was founded upon,” Clary said.
“Our present system of electing those to represent us was established and birthed by sovereign Alaskans working together in trust and unity, constitutionally guaranteeing every Alaskan the right to one vote under a system that has and continues to operate without flaws or fraud.
“However, the inferior system you are deliberating over today was conceived in private by a select elite few whose desire is to dismantle and destroy all that sovereign Alaskans hold dear regarding their election system,” he said.
“This initiative is 25 pages long, proposes 17 major changes to our existing Alaska State Statutes, and 75 section amendments to our Alaska election laws in order to codify this initiative into law, should this ruse garner enough votes to become law,” Clary said.
During the question and answer period, questions from Kendall’s brother-in-law, committee member Rep. Grier Hopkins, were directed at Kendall and appeared coordinated. When Clary tried to get a word in edgewise, he was cut off by Rep. Kreiss-Tomkins, who then went on to the next question from a Democrat. Finally, Clary just hung up on the meeting. He told Must Red Alaska it was simply no longer worth his time.
” This initiative is complicated and difficult to understand,” Clary told Must Read Alaska. “Everyone signing the petition to place this initiative on the ballot should have been required to read it in its entirety.” If they had read it, they never would have signed it, he said. But it is just too long and too complicated to read.
Ranked choice voting, as the ballot initiative proposes, lets people who vote for losing candidates essentially the opportunity to vote again in an instant run-off, giving people who vote for losing candidates more than one vote. People who choose winning candidates only get one vote, however.
Watch how it’s explained in San Francisco, where they have this ranked choice technique.