SHOCKING Election Results – Is Sarah Palin Done?
(AmericanProsperity.com) – Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin’s political comeback has badly stalled after she lost a special election for a vacant House seat. In the premiere of Alaska’s new voting system, Palin lost out to her Democratic rival. Still, was the candidate to blame, or was it the voting scheme?
What Happened To Palin?
On August 31, Palin faced Democrat Mary Peltola in a special election for Alaska’s at-large congressional district, vacant following the death of Representative Don Young (R-AK) on June 11. It was Palin’s first campaign since resigning as governor in 2009. Yet, Peltola pulled off a surprise victory, garnering 51.5% of the vote.
This election marked the state’s initial use of the ranked-choice voting system. Under ranked-choice, voters don’t simply choose only their preferred candidate; instead, they rank all the candidates in order of preference. If nobody has a clear majority in the first round, the new scheme eliminates the one with the fewest first-preference ballots and adds their supporters’ second-preference votes to the first-preference choices of the survivors. On Wednesday, there were three candidates, and none achieved a first-round majority. The system eliminated Nick Begich III (R), and the second-preference votes from his ballots pushed Peltola past the magic 50% mark.
Is Ranked Choice Fair?
Supporters of ranked-choice voting argue that it “levels the playing field” and lets voters make real choices instead of voting strategically. They say it hands victory to candidates with broad support and eliminates the chance of a candidate winning an election with a plurality (less than 50%) rather than a majority. The system elects candidates with the broadest support bases.
On the other hand, opponents say it’s harder for voters to understand and denies voters a clear choice between two candidates. If Alaska had used a primary system to hold the vote, one Democrat would have faced off against one Republican. Instead, the ranked-choice voting eliminated the primary and split the Republican vote between two candidates.
Yet, another, possibly more serious, argument against ranked-choice voting exists. Some opponents argue it tends to discriminate against smaller parties and “fringe” candidates, even if they’re most people’s first choice. There’s no doubt the system can produce strange results, such as when a candidate in second or even third place after the first round becomes the final winner after counting second and third preference votes.
So far, ranked-choice voting has been most popular with Democrats. It’s widely used in California, Hawaii, New York, and Minnesota and banned from state and local elections in Tennessee and all elections in Florida. On Wednesday, a Democrat defeated a popular Republican candidate in a solidly Republican state. Is it surprising that Liberals like the new ranked voting system?
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