Democrats, your caucus ballots are ready for ranking



Alaska’s registered Democrats — all 74,690 of them — should have their ballots by now for the Alaska Democrats’ first ever caucus-by-ballot primary.

It’s not an official state-run primary, but is a preference poll that the party is running for the first time. There will be no gymnasium caucuses this spring, but in-person voting will take place on April 4 for those who didn’t get a ballot mailed back in time. Ballots must be postmarked for return by March 24.

Although the race is really down to two individuals — Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden — the ballot has 12 names on it, and the Democrats are experimenting with “ranked voting,” in which people rank their top choices, rather than just vote for one person. They’ll be ranking Biden and Sanders, but also can choose between Sen. Michael Bennet, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, former Rep. John Delaney, and former Gov. Deval Patrick, former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, former Mayor Pete Buttigieg, businessman Tom Steyer, and businessman Andrew Yang.

Following the primary, district conventions are scheduled for Saturday, April 18, to elect delegates for the state DNC convention, which is Saturday, May 16 in Fairbanks. That is when the party elects delegates to the July 13-16 national convention in Milwaukee, Wisc.

Those meetings of large groups of people — from in-person voting to conventions — are subject to change due to the rapidly evolving situation with the coronavirus. Already Louisiana has postponed its primary that was scheduled for April 4.


The Democratic debate scheduled for Sunday at 8 pm has been moved from Phoenix, Arizona to Washington, DC, the Democratic National Committee announced Thursday. The debate will air on CNN, CNN en Español, CNN International, and Univision.

Univision’s Jorge Ramos may have been exposed to the coronavirus and has stepped away from moderating the debate. Ilia Calderón will join CNN’s Dana Bash and Jake Tapper as a moderator.


  1. Ranked choice voting is not an intelligent alternative to one-man-one-vote.

    Especially in this primary because it’s possible that someone who has already dropped out could become the ‘ranked’ choice and that serves no one’s interest.

    Read up on states who chose to switch to ranked choice voting and then, after seeing the possible results, voted to do away with ranked choice voting because people who no one had as their first choice ended up in office, pleasing no voters.

    It’ ok to want to improve voting, but jumping at the first offering of something different without understanding the drawbacks is not smart.

    I’ve seen a lot of dishonest claims about what ranked choice will do.

    There’s a push to change Alaska’s voting to ranked choice voting.

    Not a good idea. Don’t be afraid to search for why ranked choice is not the right choice. There’s plenty of info that puts the lie to some of the claims about what it can do.

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