Broken Faith: How Ranked (Rigged) Choice Voting Suppressed the Vote – and the Voices of the Citizens – in Alaska in 2022

The 2022 Republican nominee for Alaska’s US Senate seat Kelly Tshibaka describes in this Episode of Who’s Counting? with Cleta Mitchell how Alaska’s Ranked “Rigged” Choice Voting worked in the state’s 2022 elections.  Adopted as a ballot measure in 2020, under the guise of a ‘dark money ban’, RCV replaced the state’s normal election process.  It passed only very narrowly, with a total of 50.55% of the vote, a margin of 3,781 votes out of 344,283 votes cast.

Kelly argues that RCV elevates incumbents above all other candidates because of the complexity of the system, the inability of voters to identify their party’s candidates (all run on a “nonpartisan” ballot), and with a huge increase in the number of candidates all thrown onto the same ballot, those with the most money (normally incumbents) are the only candidates able to differentiate themselves.  In Kelly’s view, RCV essentially allowed the “opposite” party to choose the other party’s nominees, significantly delayed election results (delayed until November 23d after three rounds of RCV balloting), and more costly to taxpayers, among other negative outcomes.

Most disturbing of all, RCV resulted in dramatic drops in voter turnout among all categories of voters:  Democrats, GOP, minor parties and all demographic groups. 

Now, Kelly has founded Preserve Democracy and serves as its CEO, to fight back against RCV, and which is dedicated to restoring sanity to Alaska’s election system.

Supporters of incumbent Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski were largely responsible for the ballot measure in 2020 that resulted in RCV.   In recent years, Murkowski had so abandoned Republican principles that Alaska’s Republican Party took the unprecedented step of barring her from the GOP, disallowing her from running as a Republican, and seeking another GOP nominee — eventually endorsing Kelly.   Only because of RCV was Murkowski able once again able to eke out a reelection victory. In 2010, Murkowski lost the GOP primary and was only reelected via a write-in campaign that year. 

Another example of how RCV extinguishes the normal rule of ‘he who gets more votes wins…’, Alaska ended up with a Democrat in the US House, even though the two GOP candidates in the primary received 60% of the vote on the first ballot, compared to the 40% received by the Democrat who ultimately won.  Similarly, in the 2022 general election, the two Republicans garnered 49.4% of the total vote, but the Democrat ultimately won with 48.6% of the vote in the first ballot.  By stringing out the results through multiple rounds of voting, where not only candidates, but ballots (and voters) are eliminated in the ensuing counts, a candidate who lost in the initial tally can end up winning.  Which is exactly what happened in Alaska’s at-large US House election in 2022.

Alaska’s experience with Ranked (Rigged) Choice Voting is a cautionary tale for other states and localities where RCV is being pushed by operatives funded by leftwing billionaires.  

This episode is so full of critical information and astounding revelations that you might just have to watch or listen twice to fully understand how dangerous and destructive Ranked Choice Voting really is to the ability of American voters to express their will through their votes. 

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