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Thread: Alaska's new voting system - top 4 and then ranked.

  1. #1
    alhoon's Avatar Moderator
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    Apr 2008
    Chania, Greece

    Default Alaska's new voting system - top 4 and then ranked.
    The gist: By voter referendum in 2020 a new voting system passed in Alaska and will be used for the senate race: No primaries. ALL candidates of ALL parties enter the ballot in a primary election in August. The top 4 vote getters will go to official election in November 2022 for the senate seat, using ranked voting.
    In the ranked system proposed, candidates are eliminated and the votes that had them go to the next person on the voter's list. Thus, if you voted for 1: A, 2: B, 3:C and 4: D, and A was eliminated, your vote would go to B.

    This could be very big for USA. It is a shake-up of the system used for such races in USA that could bring major benefits if implemented in more states.

    Benefit A: Gives a slightly better chance to non-big-party candidates. Not enough to seriously threaten bipartisanship, but a move towards the right direction

    The main Benefit B: Your voice matters even if your best candidates lose.
    Let's assume there would be 2 Democrats and 2 Republicans in the final ballot for Alaska. One Republican is a Trumpeteer, the other a moderate. Which would probably be the case.
    Let's assume Democrats lose.
    But the votes of the Democrat voters would NOT have been in vain. If most Democrat voters vote for the moderate Republican as #3, they could lock out the Trumpeteer.

    With numbers:
    Let's assume Democrat A, Democrat B, Republican T (Trumpeteer), Republican M (Moderate).

    Let's assume the Democrats get: A: 60K votes, B: 60K votes.
    And Republicans get: T: 80K votes and M: 70K votes

    Round 1: A is eliminated and the votes for A are split to the candidate A-voters put as their next choice. B: 100K votes, T: 83K votes, M 87K votes.
    What that means? It means T now has the least votes from the 3 candidates and is thus eliminated.

    Round 2: T is eliminated, votes for T are split to the candidate the T-voters put as their next choice: B: 113K, M: 157K
    Sure, the democrats would have to content with their "3rd best" choice but not their worst choice. And while individually T got the most votes, about 30%, he didn't manage to gather 50%+1 so... bye bye.

    Benefit 3: Under the new ranked system, it is good strategy to work with the other side!
    You would see Republicans walking to democrat voters and say "Please put our guy as #2 instead of that Trumpeteer butthole. That way, even if you don't get your choices, you will at least block out your worst case. "
    While Republicans would approach democrats and say "If you don't want CRT taught in schools, don't vote for AOC's mouthpiece, but put our guy as #3."

    You have to work with the other side.
    Last edited by alhoon; January 21, 2022 at 06:45 PM.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006

    Default Re: Alaska's new voting system - top 4 and then ranked.

    We use the preference system in Australia and its led to complex local and notional deals by pledge bound parties (that is party loyalty tends to be tighter here). In the US if implemented everywhere it would lead to even more complex deal making.

    In our case a single analyst was able to cause havoc by brokering preferences across multiple electorates, its led to minor parties holding the balance of power in a number of elections state and federally in the last decade or so.

    The US system is more rigidly 2 party so it may be less vulnerable, but my feeling is it would still work.
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  3. #3
    conon394's Avatar hoi polloi
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    Sep 2004
    Colfax WA, neat I have a barn and 49 acres - I have 2 horses, 15 chickens - but no more pigs

    Default Re: Alaska's new voting system - top 4 and then ranked.

    In general I like the ideal. It also means possibly you get the satisfaction of registering support a now quixotic party Libertarian, Socialist. But get know your vote can count toward the second best option. Might energize more people to turn out and even given the structural issues in the US system see a few more third party types taking local to low state seats. In Alaska probably means Murkowski is very happy.
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  4. #4
    ggggtotalwarrior's Avatar hey it geg
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    Sep 2011
    New York

    Default Re: Alaska's new voting system - top 4 and then ranked.

    We need ranked choice voting but it’ll never happen because it directly challenges the corrupt two party duopoly that hs entrenched itself into every level of our politics. It’s the same reason that after Perot played spoiler in 1992 the Reps/Dems destroyed the old debate committee and replaced it with one that is “bipartisan” and immediately raised the polling standards to get into debates from 5 to 15%.
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