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Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin knocked out ranked-choice voting after losing to Democrat Mary Peltola in Alaska’s special election to serve the remainder of former Rep. Don Young’s term in Congress.
Ranked-choice voting was adopted in Alaska in 2020 and has been hailed by proponents as a novel system to reduce partisanship and ensure that winning candidates have a majority of support.
Voters rank candidates in order of preference. If a candidate receives more than 50% of first-place votes after the first tabulation, then they win, but if there is no majority winner, then the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated.
In the next tabulation, voters who chose the eliminated candidate as their top pick will have their votes go to their second-place pick. This process is repeated until one candidate receives a majority of the votes.
Palin called the system a “new crazy, convoluted, confusing” way to elect lawmakers that has “disenfranchised 60% of Alaska voters.”
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“Ranked-choice voting was sold as the way to make elections better reflect the will of the people. As Alaska – and America – now sees, the exact opposite is true,” Palin said in a statement on Thursday.
“With optimism that Alaskans learn from this voting system mistake and correct it in the next election, let’s work even harder to send an America First conservative to Washington in November.”
In Alaska’s special election, Peltola received 40% of the vote, Palin received 31% of the vote, and Republican Nick Begich received 28.5% of the vote.
Begich was eliminated, and a second tabulation gave Peltola 51.5% of the vote to Palin’s 48.5%, so Peltola won.
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Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., also slammed ranked-choice voting on Wednesday, calling it a “scam to rig elections.”
All three candidates will face off again in the November general election to serve a full term in the House of Representatives.