Alaska uses ranked-choice voting for first time in special election with

Given recent interest on this forum in Preferential voting, I thought this recent article might be of interest.

I would note that Maine also uses Ranked Choice voting:

As does Australia at the Federal level (Instant-runoff voting in their lower house, multi-winner Single transferable vote in the Senate):

When I lived in Australia a couple of decades ago, I can remember considerable coverage in the lead-ups to elections over ‘Preference deals’ whereby parties would recommend to their voters (via how-to-vote guides) that they put another party as their next preference, in exchange for that second party recommending to their voters putting the first party next. Such deals could become controversial, when a mainstream party made one with an extremist/racist party like One Nation.


I favor ranked-choice voting because It encourages voting for the candidate you really want, rather than voting against the candidate you can’t stand. I’m sure there will also be some truly awful choices like One Nation, but at least there will be more choices, and less of voting for the lesser of two weevils.


I’m just here to post this video in response to the mention of Single transferable vote, because STV is awesome and more people should know about it. :slight_smile:


man, my province voted against this. People actually said that it promotes support of extremist fringe groups. Looking at current events, I lol’d hard


I think it would be more fair to say that it fails to discriminate against small parties, which may include “extremist fringe groups”.

I think this only becomes a problem if representation becomes sufficiently fragmented that the ruling party has to make a large number of deals with smaller parties, who have demands for joining the ruling coalition, that it starts to resemble a ‘tail wagging the dog’ situation.

In local body elections, we use STV here in New Zealand, but party affiliations are fairly sparse at that level. My main concern in the upcoming elections is to make sure I don’t accidentally give a stealth Voices for Freedom candidate an unearnedly-high ranking.

We’ve used Mixed-Member Proportional representation (MMP) at a national level since 1994, and it seems to work quite well.


It seems that Tom Cotton doesn’t like Ranked Choice:

60% of Alaska voters voted for a Republican, but thanks to a convoluted process and ballot exhaustion—which disenfranchises voters—a Democrat “won.”

Or alternately, a bit over 10% of the Alaskan electorate are Republicans who’d prefer a Democrat to Sarah Palin. :roll_eyes:

Yes, I prefer your wording there.

I’m not surprised at the reaction. Some time ago, the mathematics department that I was in went with a ranked choice system. And, after the first election using this system, they reverted back to a “first past the post” system. Evidently, they did not like the results.

A “first past the post” system is biased to toward the celebrities/stars. A ranked-choice system is biased toward those who are willing to do the work and negotiate the compromises that will keep the system running smoothly.

The way I’d put is that First Past the Post gives you the result you expect, Ranked Preference gives you the result voters want – and sometimes it turns out voters want unexpected things. :slight_smile:

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Then it was Republican voters who rigged it. The move to a ranked choice system was passed on a ballot measure where the majority of voters were Republicans. It was the people of Alaska who voted to have this system put in.

Nothing is too obviously Bipartisan, or Republican-backed, that MAGA Republicans (or before them, Tea Party Republicans) are unable to claim that it was all a filthy Democrat plot.

What eventually became Obamacare was originally Republican-backed healthcare policy, before Obama’s adoption of it proved that it was the work of the Devil.

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