What is Alaska’s new voting system?
The majority of Alaskans voted YES to implement ranked-choice voting (RCV) and open primaries by ballot measure. Open primaries allow us to hold one primary race in which everyone gets to vote for their favorite candidate, no matter what the political party affiliation. Ranked-choice voting is a secure system where you get to rank candidates from your first choice to your last. The more candidates you rank, the more power your vote has. But, you don’t have to rank any candidates that don’t share your values. Together, open primaries and ranked choice voting give your vote even more power!
Why our new system is good for Alaska!
After using ranked-choice voting for the first time, 85% of Alaskans reported RCV to be “simple” and a supermajority of voters (66%) ranked multiple candidates on their ballot.* Almost 50% of registered Alaskan voters are Independents/non-partisan, yet they have little influence in government because it is difficult for Independent candidates to get elected under plurality voting rules. When open primaries and ranked-choice voting are used together, they can improve representation at the state and federal levels of government, allowing supporters of Independent and third-party candidates to rank their preferred candidate first without “wasting” their votes or “spoiling” the election outcome.
Why does The Alaska Center support this new system?
We envision a just, thriving, and sustainable Alaska for future generations where everyone has a seat at the decision maker. Places with RCV have better overall electoral outcomes for women and people of color and our first ranked choice voting election in 2022 resulted in a bipartisan coalition in the Alaska State Senate and elected a pro-fish Alaska Center endorsed candidate to the US House of Representatives.
What is the next step?
Alaska House of Representatives fast-tracked legislation to repeal ranked-choice voting and open primaries last session, but hearing testimony from Alaskan voters who support the current system made a difference. You can show your support message to your State House Representative and State Senator supporting ranked-choice voting and open primaries!
*From an exit poll paid for by Alaskans for Better Elections https://alaskansforbetterelections.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/20220830_AK_Polling_Data-combined.pdf