Lousy election overhaul petition gets its signatures



Backers of a proposed ballot initiative aimed at massively changing elections in Alaska have turned in more than 41,000 signatures in a bid to qualify the measure for this year’s ballot. It needed only 28,000 signatures.

It is discomfiting so many people were duped.

Backed primarily by moneyed Outside interests, the initiative boasts 25 pages of legalese that would radically change Alaska election law. Pushed by Alaskans for Better Elections, it would, among other things, institute ranked-choice voting, open primaries and limit campaign contributions.

Make no mistake, ranked-choice voting is a terrible idea designed to favor independents and the Left. You could end up voting for somebody you would never vote for in any other circumstances. A Republican could end up with his or her vote going to a Democrat. A Democrat could end up supporting a Republican he or she detests.

The Heritage Foundation describes ranked-choice voting as “a scheme to disconnect elections from issues and allow candidates with marginal support from voters to win elections.”

By any standard, California Gov. Gavin Newsom is no right-wing crank. He vetoed ranked-choice voting for runoffs in his state, saying it “often led to voter confusion, and that the promise that ranked-choice voting leads to greater democracy is not necessarily fulfilled.”

As for opening primary elections? Why? Closed primaries replaced onerous behind-closed-doors candidate selection. Open primaries hamstring a party’s ability to choose its strongest candidates and field those who adhere to and support its platform. How does that strengthen the electoral process and offer the best candidates?

Lt. Gov. Kevin Meyer moved to keep the question off the ballot, claiming the myriad extensive changes violate the state constitution’s single-subject requirement for initiatives.

Superior Court Judge Yvonne Lamoureux in October ruled against him and allowed the group to begin signature-gathering. The judge’s decision in under appeal.

If the question makes it onto the ballot, we can only cross our fingers and hope Alaskans finally see it for what it is – a way to dismantle our election system.


  1. Primaries should not be open too the general public. Only actual party member should be allowed to vote in primaries, so that there is no interference with the party’s choice of candidate or leader. Then choose open preferential voting, for the public, allowing all to vote for his or her 1st, 2nd, 3rd or even fourth choice of candidate.

  2. “Make no mistake” ranked choice voting allows you to vote for the candidate you think is best without the spoiler effect. This allows third parties to field their candidates, get votes, and not be spoilers. If we had had ranked choice voting in 1992, Ross Perot would not have been a spoiler and Bill Clinton would not have been elected. Do your homework before calling “ranked choice voting” a non-starter. Those in power always resist change. We need a representative democracy. Ranked choice voting is one tool to aid in that process.

    • Nope, that’s a lie. Ranked Choice Voting only fixes the spoiler effect for fringe third parties that couldn’t win anyway.

      When they become more popular they become spoilers again. The people promoting RCV know about these flaws, but lie about it to get people to support their initiatives.

      RCV actually entrenches a two-party system, as you can see by looking at the places that have already adopted it. It throws away votes for third parties and gives them to the main two, while also preventing the third parties from ever becoming viable.

      If you want to vote for the candidate you think is best without the spoiler effect, you need a utilitarian/consensus voting system, like STAR Voting, Score Voting, Approval Voting, Condorcet ranked methods, etc.

      There are many voting methods. RCV is somehow the most popular despite being one of the worst.

  3. Those signature gatherers were outside paid Organizing for America employees. They often lied to get uninformed dolts to sign. The whole process is awash in corruption.

  4. Whereas, the Republican Party of Alaska believes in and supports the principles of Democracy, Fairness and Majority Rule, and

    Whereas, Alaskan voters should be able to vote their conscience without fear of wasting their vote or helping elect candidates they least prefer, and

    Whereas, Instant Runoff Voting eliminates majority voters splitting their votes among similar candidates allowing a candidate with only minority appeal to win, and

    Whereas, Instant Runoff Voting eliminates spoilers, those candidates with little chance of winning who can knock off more representative candidates, and

    Whereas, Instant Runoff Voting insures majority rule without having the expense of a runoff election

    Now therefore be it resolved that the Republican Party of Alaska fully supports the Instant Runoff Voting initiative proposition appearing on the August, 2002 Primary Election Ballot.

    (Adopted by the Republican Party of Alaska in State Convention on May 18, 2002)

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