Alaskan voters will get the chance to adopt statewide ranked choice voting (RCV) after the state’s Division of Elections certified a three-pronged ballot measure submitted by Alaskans for Better Elections, a bipartisan advocacy group.
The ballot measure, officially certified on March 9, was filed with 41,068 signatures (36,006 deemed valid)—far more than the 28,501 valid signatures required by state law.
The measure would replace partisan primaries with open top-four primaries for statewide and congressional offices and establish RCV, in which voters would rank the four candidates that emerged from the primaries, for general elections.
Additionally, the measure has provisions to eliminate “dark money” in Alaskan politics and to make Alaska’s primary elections open to voters of all party affiliation.
According to Shea Siegert, campaign manager of Alaskans for Better Elections, the “certification is a big win for Alaskans who believe in the right to a more fair, transparent, and honest system of electing their leaders. We are focused on improving the system to protect the right of every citizen to be informed when they vote and to make candidates compete for the approval of all voters. We’re proud of the strong and support we’ve seen from Alaskans for these common-sense reforms.”
ITS OFFICIAL! Alaska voters will have the opportunity to vote to improve the transparency and effectiveness of our state elections. "We’re proud of the strong and growing support we’ve seen from Alaskans for these common-sense reforms.” #AKLEG #AKGOV #Alaska #Elections pic.twitter.com/nQgJidonaA— Alaskans for Better Elections (@Alaskans4ABE) March 10, 2020
The incredible success of Alaskans for Better Elections in working tirelessly to gather the necessary signatures is a testament to the nonpartisan, common-sense of the nature of the reforms. In fact, former independent state Rep. Jason Grenn is chairperson of the campaign, while former Democratic mayor of Anchorage Bruce Butelho and prominent Alaska Republican Bonnie Jack serve as co-chairs—showing good-government reforms can transcend partisan affiliation.
If Alaska voters pass the ballot measure in November, Alaska would follow Maine as the second state to enact RCV statewide. Massachusetts voters will also have the opportunity to adopt RCV for their statewide elections via a November ballot measure.