(Molly Bruns, Headline USA) Despite its adoption in a growing number of states, ranked-choice voting is one of several controversial policies impacting the administration of free and fair elections that Republicans have said is conducive to vote-fraud—and thus favors Democrats.
The system effectively allows a campaign with greater resources or institutional power to stack the ballot with decoy candidates who could potentially draw votes from their biggest rival challenger—as was a concern in Maine Sen. Susan Collins’s 2020 re-election bid.
Or, as is the case this year in Alaska, it could allow weaker candidates to continue on to the general election, giving them new life even after voters might have opted to eliminate them in the primary.
Left-leaning news outlet Politico recently published an article acknowledging that ranked voting had been helpful to the Left—and that, consequently, it should be adopted everywhere, the Media Research Center reported.
The story focused on Republicans who are surging in the midterm polls. “The GOP is tantalizingly close to its goal of taking the House majority in three weeks, after an at-times-uneven, two-year campaign to flip the chamber,” it said.
Although the anticipated “red tsunami” was not a guarantee, it now appears all the momentum is with the minority party.
“POLITICO’s Election Forecast still rates the race to control the House as ‘Likely Republican’—but of the dozen newest updates, 10 individual contests moved in Republicans’ direction,” said Politico.
The article went on to explain that several races across the country are struggling to maintain a Democratic lead, even in deep blue strongholds such as Oregon.
However, it noted that Alaska’s lone House race appears to be one of the few prospective seat-flips for Democrats with a “Lean Democratic” rating in recent polls after now-Rep. Mary Peltola, a Democrat, secured the seat long held by the late Don Young, a Republican, in a special election earlier this year.
Alaska, which has traditionally been a Republican stronghold, adopted ranked-choice voting after the 2020 election.
The new process asks voters to rank their choices so that, in theory, the overall best-performing candidate may not be the winner if nobody wins the majority outright.
“If one candidate receives more than 50% of first-choice votes, they are declared the winner,” said an article in the Nevada Current. “If not, the candidate in last place is eliminated, and those votes are transferred to their second-choice candidate. That process is continued until a candidate receives a true majority.”
Lie the state’s current Senate race, in which pro-MAGA candidate Kelly Tshibaka is trying to oust incumbent GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski, the House race pits an Establishment RINO candidate against a true conservative—in this case, former governor and vice presidential contender Sarah Palin.
The two “Republicans” split the vote in the special election to replace Young earlier this year, leaving Peltola as the victor, and now all three candidates are vying once more to win the seat outright.
“[Peltola’s] remach against Republicans Sarah Palin and Nick Begich moves from ‘Toss Up to ‘Lean Democratic,’ as the same dynamics present in that summer upset are back,” Politico explained.
“Palin and Begich haven’t made nice—while Peltola has built a formidable war chest ($2.3 million in cash on hand as of Sept. 30) and has the sheen of a winner, at least for the time being,” it added.
The report concluded by saying it would be “surprising” to see either of the Republican candidates pull out a win with the ranked-choice system, even if Peltola comes up short of a majority of the overall vote—implying that the ranked-choice system sways in favor of Democrats.
Palin, for one, has slammed the ranked-choice system adopted by ballot referendum during the 2020 election, which insulates bad incumbents like Murkowski from being held accountable in the primary races by including the top-five best performing candidates of both parties on the official ballot.
Not only does it provide security for cushy, incompetent incumbents, but the tabulation systems for ranked-choice voting are also intensely complicated and leave the door wide open for possible election fraud.
Headline USA’s Ben Sellers contributed to this report.