One thing about Alaska’s new, confusing rank-choice voting system is now perfectly clear: In passing the 2020 measure that also allowed for mail-in voting, RINO Republicans have created a situation in which Democrats in the traditionally red state can now potentially take a U.S. House seat victory away from conservative Sarah Palin and gift it to an opponent on the left.
Palin actually competed in two races in Alaska’s Tuesday-night elections.
In addition to running in the 2022 primary race for the U.S. House of Representatives, the former governor also ran in a special election to see who would finish out the late Rep. Dan Young’s term, following his death earlier this year.
In the special election, Palin faced off against Republican Nicholas Begich and former state Rep. Mary Peltola, a Democrat.
“On Wednesday morning, with an estimated 69 percent of ballots tallied, Peltola had 37 percent of the vote in this race. Palin had 32 percent, and Begich had 28 percent,” reports TPM. “Because no candidate surpassed 50 percent, the third-place candidate will be eliminated once all ballots are tallied. That person’s votes will be redistributed to whichever candidate his or her voters ranked second.”
Murkowski, Palin headline Alaska primaries, advance to general election stage https://t.co/zwY3Jrt0sS
— American Wire News (@americanwire_) August 17, 2022
In other words, assuming the polls prove accurate, votes for Begich, who, while a Republican, hails from an influential Alaskan Democratic family, will go to whomever his voters picked as their second choice. In such a tight race, if Begich voters lean to the left of Palin, it could put Peltola out of Palin’s reach.
And thanks to The Last Frontier’s move to a statewide mail-in election, voters won’t know who came in second until the end of the month, which is how long the state claims it will take to tally all the ballots.
What’s worse, the state will no longer be verifying the signatures on the ballots they receive.
According to a March 25 email from Alaska’s Division of Elections, reports Joel Davidson at Alaska Watch, “There is no statutory authority to verify signatures, but voters will have to provide witness signatures.”
“Since this will be the first time Alaska has ever conducted a statewide mail-in election, concerns have been raised about how the state will ensure that voters are who they claim to be,” Davidson writes.
And while the easiest way to ensure election integrity would be for election officials to verify that the ballot signature matches the signature on file, Alaska has failed to pass the legislation to require that verification.
“Multiple bills have been introduced in the current legislative session to address voter integrity issues, including voter signature verification, but they have languished in various House and Senate committee assignments,” Davidson explains. “Lt. Gov. Kevin Meyer submitted legislation to the current Legislature to address this issue, but his Senate Bill 167 has languished in the Senate State Affairs Committee since Jan. 18th with no movement. Several other bills dealing with voter signature verification have been introduced, including House Bill 96 by Gov. Mike Dunleavy. That bill has stalled in the House State Affairs Committee.”
The rule changes will ensure Alaska “is on track to become another Oregon,” predicted Seth Keshel back in April.
“Ranked Choice Voting,” he argued, “allows a pathway for extreme candidates to supplant candidates who are most likely to be elected with strong pluralities, and practically entrenches incumbents in Democrat strongholds.”
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