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Alaska's ranked choice vote celebrated by Left after two Trump-backed candidates suffer defeat

Washington Examiner logo Washington Examiner 11/24/2022 Rachel Schilke
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Democrats are praising Alaska's ranked choice voting system for producing wins for Mary Peltola (D) in the House and Lisa Murkowski (R) in the Senate.

Both women's races were called on Wednesday, securing their reelection to Congress. Peltola was already serving as Alaska's representative after she won a special election to replace the late GOP Rep. Don Young, who died in March. With her win, she will now serve a full two-year term. Murkowski, the state's senior senator, has held her seat since 2002.

Peltola won with 54.9% of the vote, defeating Republican candidates Sarah Palin and Nick Begich. Murkowski, a more centrist politician who has sided with Senate Democrats on hot-button issues, won with 53.69% of the vote, defeating Republican Kelly Tshibaka and Democrat Patricia Chesbro.

Both Palin and Tshibaka were endorsed by former President Donald Trump, adding themselves to the list of Trump-backed candidates who lost.

Using Alaska's ranked choice voting system, voters ranked all candidates in order of preference on their ballots. Since no candidate received a majority of the first-choice votes, the third-place finishers, Begich and Chesbro, were eliminated, bringing it down to Peltola and Palin for the House and Murkowski and Tshibaka for the Senate.

Anyone who voted for Begich or Chesbro had their second-choice votes redistributed to the remaining candidates. Peltola defeated Palin, who had 45.1% of the vote, and Murkowski defeated Tshibaka, who had 46.31% of the vote, after a scheduled tabulation on Wednesday.

Several Democratic leaders took to social media to celebrate Peltola's win and Alaska's unique voting system. Andrew Yang, a 2020 presidential candidate, tweeted his support for Alaska's system.

"#RankedChoiceVoting helped both Lisa Murkowski and Mary Peltola defeat Trump-backed candidates in Alaska!!" Yang wrote.


Prominent Democratic strategist Lis Smith also expressed her gratitude for the ranked choice voting system, suggesting that the country take a closer look at the process.

"Ranked choice voting is one of the more important electoral reforms we can implement," Smith wrote.

Not everyone is thrilled with Alaska's voting system, particularly the state's GOP candidates. Palin wrote on Nov. 18 that she had signed a petition to eliminate the process.

"Alaskans for Honest Government launched a citizens initiative to repeal ranked choice voting," she wrote last week. "I was honored to be the first to sign the petition."


GOP supporters also expressed their displeasure with the system. Ben Domenech, editor at large for the Spectator and contributor at Fox News, said the system misrepresents the wishes of all Alaskans.

"Ranked choice voting has once again resulted in an election outcome totally unrepresentative of Alaska sentiments, just as supporters wanted," he tweeted.

Alaska's at-large House seat was one of five House races yet to be called at the beginning of this week. Since then, only two House races remain to be called: California's 13th Congressional District and Colorado's 3rd District.

The GOP, which already secured a majority in the House with 220 seats, is waiting to see how slim its majority will be.


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Tags: Midterms 2022, Alaska, Sarah Palin, Lisa Murkowski, Congress

Original Author: Rachel Schilke

Original Location: Alaska's ranked choice vote celebrated by Left after two Trump-backed candidates suffer defeat


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