ILLEGAL POLL SOFTENS TARGET FOR INFLUENCE CARPET-BOMBING
The “Better Elections” ballot initiative, funded with money from progressive groups outside Alaska, is running a web-based poll to find out what messages would make Alaskans more likely to vote for the initiative, which will likely appear on a statewide ballot this year.
“If you qualify and complete the survey,” the polling company says it will give you a $5 Visa gift card or $5 Amazon gift card. The entire poll appears to be in violation of state election laws, and there’s no real $5, nor any way for Alaskans to determine how they might actually qualify.
The poll asks participants to identify if they are an Alaskan, are male or female, Democrat, Republican, or other, where they live, their phone number, and what they think about people like President Donald Trump, former Sen. Mark Begich, among other recognizable names. The poll asks you how likely you are to vote in the upcoming election, and then gets down to the real matter at hand: What argument will most likely persuade you on the Better Elections Initiative:
The questionnaire then proceeds to ask participants which messages would most discourage them from voting in favor of the ballot initiative.
The Better Elections ballot initiative would dismantle party primaries, allowing anyone to vote for any candidate across party lines during the Alaska primary. It would also institute ranked voting. And it would make it harder for third-party groups to conceal the identities of their donors.
Unite America, a liberal group that is trying to take over Alaska’s election system, has contributed over $600,000 to the Alaskans for Better Elections group.
No group has yet formed to oppose the ballot initiative, which many believe would harm conservative candidates.
Ranked voting depends on a complicated computer calculation that could reduce voters’ confidence in the integrity of the election process, since it makes it more likely that the top candidate would ultimately lose in an “instant run-off,” if he/she didn’t get over 50 percent of the vote.
The “instant run-off” works like this:
If a candidate wins over 50 percent of first-preference votes, he/she is the winner. But if no candidate reaches over 50 percent of first-preference votes, the candidate with the fewest first-preference votes is dropped. Then, the first-preference votes cast for that failed candidate are eliminated, which changes the percentage for the second and first choice candidates. A new count is made to see if one candidate reaches the majority. If not, the candidate with the lowest votes is dropped off and the process is repeated until someone has an outright majority.
The poll doesn’t describe the exact mechanisms of the Better Elections initiative, but only the propaganda surrounding it. There is no disclaimer on the poll, which is likely a violation of state law since it is an issue that is heading for the ballot. It’s unlikely that the Alaska Public Offices Commission will be able to track down the shadow group and penalize it, since it’s impossible to see who is actually authorizing the poll.