Photo by Vladislav Babienko on Unsplash

Sarah Palin Eats Ranked Choice Voting Dust in a Special Election in Alaska

Never waste your vote again. Independent voters rejoice.

ScottCDunn
4 min readSep 1, 2022

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I can hardly restrain myself. I’m so excited about the results of the special election for a vacant seat in the House of Representatives for the State of Alaska, I’m about to explode. I’m glad that Democrat and native Alaskan, Mary Peltola, won that seat based on a campaign of friendliness and kindness. I’m glad to see that a Trump-endorsed candidate lost. I am glad to see Ranked choice voting prove it’s promise of moderation.

In 2020, Alaska passed a law that opened their primary elections and made all elections ranked choice voting elections. Those two actions made it far more difficult for the most extreme among the people of Alaska, to win an election.

Sarah Palin was easily the favored candidate in that race. She had the name recognition. She is a Republican in a state that Trump carried in 2020. She was endorsed by former president Trump. Special elections mean lower turnouts. All she had to do was say, “I’m a Republican” to win.

Republicans tend to fare much better in low turnout elections. This is something that I want to emboss on the head of every Democrat who sat out the election in 2016. In 2016, voter turnout was 54%. That year, tens of millions of people did not vote, costing us 4 years of chaos.

According to the secretary of state of Alaska, the total number of ballots cast was 177,093 for this special election in 2022. In the 2020 general election, voters cast 353,530 ballots. That’s a drop of 50%. Trump carried that state by ten points in 2020.

I believe that ranked choice voting helped a Democrat to win a low voter turnout election. I also believe that if applied nationally, Alaska’s system is a great start toward redistributing political power across America.

Alaska has had an open primary system since 2020. That means anyone could vote in any political party's primary election. That means the political parties of Alaska do not get to play “kingmaker”. They do not get to choose who Alaskans get to vote for in the general election.

Open primaries remove much of the power of the party elites have to choose who we…

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