A liberal Outside group wants Alaska to model its primary system in part after Louisiana’s jungle primary, an election design that has all candidates on the same ballot regardless of party, and all voters, regardless of party affiliation, having access to the entire ballot. Political parties can’t close their primaries to those registered with the party, something that Republicans do in Alaska to prevent Democrats from crossing over and voting for false-flag Republicans.
The jungle primary is why the current gubernatorial election in Louisiana is dragging on — today is a runoff election because neither incumbent Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards or leading Republican Eddie Rispone won 51 percent of the vote on Oct. 12. The two were the top finishers, with Edwards winning 47 percent of the vote, and Rispone having to fight for a runoff spot with other Republicans in the race.
The challenge for candidates is to get their supporters to go to the polls twice within a few weeks is just one of the unfortunate consequences of jungle primaries. Runoffs are expensive.
The group trying to force jungle primaries into Alaska would solve that problem by having an “instant runoff,” where people rank their choices on the ballot, and a computer calculates and recalculates the winner by reassigning votes depending on the rankings. If the first choice of the most voters doesn’t reach a majority, the computer retabulates the second, third, and fourth choices until one candidate reaches more than 50 percent.
One of the biggest complaints with ranked voting is that it’s confusing for voters. It also depends on the computer program that does the counting and recalculating. Critics say it’s trying to fix something that isn’t broken.
Paid professionals are now gathering the signatures across the state to force onto Alaska’s ballot the transition to jungle primaries combined with instant-run-off ranked voting — a combination of voting changes never tried in any other state.
The initiative is heavily funded by liberals trying to turn the state blue, because Alaska is a cheap and easy state to take advantage of with the initiative process that gives Outside groups an oversized influence. To date, no Alaska group has formed to explain to voters the motives and methods of the Outside group that calls itself “Better Elections,” although it’s clear the Alaska Republican Party has the most to lose.
Here’s how the reasoning is explained in the Daily Kos, a far-left political news site:
“A top two primary system is supposed to theoretically elect more moderate candidates, as winning could require appealing to voters of both parties. It also supposedly makes the general election more competitive. As an example, suppose you are a Democrat living in a very Republican district where the Democrat has no chance of winning a general election. In the primary, you now can still vote for the Democrat like you normally would in the primary, but in the general election when the top two Republicans are the choice, you can vote for the more moderate Republican and have an influence on the election.”
This would work very well for Democrats in Alaska, who could vote for the more moderate Republicans, ones who would create bipartisan coalitions such as the one operating the Alaska House of Representatives today.
The gubernatorial runoff in Louisiana today is considered a razor-thin race, with Edwards having the advantage of incumbency. Alaskans interested in the upcoming possible changes to Alaska’s election system may want to pay close attention.