Rep. Mary Peltola was in the Minnesota State Capitol on Friday, testifying on behalf of the Fair Vote Minnesota group to a House committee on how great ranked choice voting works in Alaska, and why Minnesota might consider adopting a similar plan.
Peltola told the House Elections Finance and Policy Committee that she credits ranked choice voting with her win in 2022. In fact, it was probably the reason she, a dark horse candidate, won against the most famous person Alaska has ever produced: Sarah Palin.
Minnesota’s HF 2486 would expand the number of Minnesota local governments that could adopt a ranked choice voting system for local elections and the bill would appropriate grants to them to aid its implementation. The bill is supported by Democrats but has no Republican co-sponsors.
“Ranked-choice voting rewards candidates that can build broad coalitions of voters and bring people together,” Peltola told the committee. “In our state, our ranked-choice system allowed me to run a positive campaign and focus on issues that voters care about. In order to win, I could not afford to alienate or ignore supporters of my opponents, as their second- and third-choice votes were critical in deciding who won. With ranked-choice voting, you have to be willing to listen to every voter. You have to at least consider opposing points of view. … I could not take any vote for granted, nor write any voter off.”
Peltola did not talk about the extraordinary delays that ranked choice voting creates in knowing the outcomes of elections, nor the extraordinary expense the state pays to educate voters about ranked choice voting, which is already the subject of a major recall via ballot initiative, now being sought through a petition from Alaskans for Honest Elections.
So far, only two states — Maine and Alaska — employ ranked choice voting for state and federal offices, except for the presidential election, which is governed federally.
Fair Vote Minnesota is similar to Alaskans for Better Elections. It’s funded by dark Outside money. Both groups get support from Unite America, a group dedicated to ranked choice voting and headed by progressive billionaire Kathryn Murdoch. Major funders that have backed both groups are John and Laura Arnold, political philanthropists who give millions to Democrat Party causes every year.