5

As explained in How did Alaska "change its primary system recently" and was it "to dilute the possibility of a conservative or Trump-inspired challenger"?:

Alaska Ballot Measure 2 made two big changes to elections, both of which are expected to reduce the power of the main parties:

  1. Party-run primary elections are replaced with non-partisan primary elections (sometimes called Jungle primaries). In a non-partisan primary, all candidates, regardless of party, run against each other in a primary election and the top vote-getters move on to the general election. Usually, in a non-partisan primary, the top-two candidates move on, but in Alaska's new system the top four move forward. This is because of the second change instituted by Ballot Measure 2:

  2. The normal first-past-the-post system has been replaced with ranked choice voting among the top-4 candidates from the primary. Instead of casting a single vote for a candidate, voters rank their candidates. If no one receives a majority of the votes, the last place candidate is removed and their voters are assigned to the other candidates based on their second choices. This continues until one candidate has a majority.

But... why didn't they also introduce ranked voting for the primary? It seems like that it would be just as beneficial there as it is for the general election. Have there been any discussions of this question in the legislature of Alaska?

2
  • 1
    It seems like the primary is already ranked, just in a different way, by taking the top 4. Ranked-choice to pick the top 4 would be overkill and more confusing.
    – Barmar
    May 31, 2023 at 23:00
  • Alaska will still hold caucuses in 2024 to determine candidates for President. Ranked voting does not apply to a political party's choice for who runs for that party for President. Jun 1, 2023 at 16:16

2 Answers 2

2

Q: Why did Alaska introduce ranked voting for the general election but not for the primary?

Q: But... why didn't they also introduce ranked voting for the primary? It seems like that it would be just as beneficial there as it is for the general election. Have there been any discussions of this question in the legislature of Alaska?

2020 Alaska Measure 2 was passed using an initiative process rather than a legislative process, thus the legislature had no say in the changes. The initiative was written on behalf of Alaskans for Better Elections (ABE), who collected the signatures to place the initiative on the ballot.

The changes to the Alaska Statutes (AS) were contained in the text of the initiative, Alaska's Better Elections Initiative.

The intent expressed in the initiative, for primary elections, was:

[4] It is in the public interest of Alaska to adopt a primary election system that is open and nonpartisan, which will generate more qualified and competitive candidates for elected office, boost turnout, better reflect the will of the electorate, reward cooperation, and reduce partisanship among elected officials.

To that end, Sec. 20 of the Initiative amended AS 15.15 by adding a new section, Sec. 15.15.005. This was subsequently renumbered to AS 15.15.025, which reads:

Section 15.15.025 - Top four nonpartisan open primary

A voter qualified under AS 15.05 may cast a vote for any candidate for each elective state executive and state and national legislative office, without limitations based on the political party or political group affiliation of either the voter or the candidate.

-3

Because the Ranked Choice voting renders the primary Unnecessary (If there's no candidate that gets 51% of the vote, the lowest performing candidate is tossed out. The Ballots for that candidate are redistributed to the remaining candidates based on the individual ballot's rankings and the totals are checked again. This process repeats until one candidate has a clear majority of votes.).

Primaries talke large lists for a party nominie who will run on his/her party ticket. With non-partisan elections and allowing all candidates who wish to run to run, it basically rolls the primaries and general election into one vote.

2
  • 5
    The primary is still important for narrowing it down to 4 candidates and is done on a single ballot instead of by party.
    – Joe W
    May 30, 2023 at 21:44
  • Primaries exist so that parties can continue to define who they are. Primaries are so that parties can put their best foot forward (at least in their own mind). Jun 1, 2023 at 17:19

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .