It's Official: Repeal of Ranked-Choice Voting Will Appear on Alaska's 2024 Ballot

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Alaskans for Honest Elections has achieved the purpose for which that group was founded: Putting the repeal of ranked-choice voting on Alaska’s 2024 ballot. This is an unalloyed good thing.

With thousands of names to spare, Alaskans for Honest Elections has won the right to have its repeal of ranked-choice voting on the ballot this year.

The Division of Elections has certified 36,841 signatures, and those came from every House district but six, easily making the needed threshold for statewide support. The group needed to have 26,705 registered voters to sign the petition, which was handed into the Division of Elections in January.

With dark money from outside the state, ranked-choice voting was presented to Alaska as a way to clean up elections. Instead, it has only made them more muddy and less trusted, critics say.

While Alaskans for Honest Elections turned in many more signatures than required, the signatures had not yet been certified; as of Tuesday, the Alaska Division of Elections has certified that the organization turned in more than enough valid signatures in the required number of districts to place the repeal measure on the ballot.

The Alaska petition initiative process is governed by Article XI of the Alaska Constitution, Alaska Statutes 15.45.010 through 15.45.245, and Title 6 Alaska Administrative Code 25.240. For a petition initiative to make it onto the Alaska ballot, the petition’s certified signatures must be 10 percent of the number who voted in the preceding general election, are residents of at least three-fourths of Alaska House of Representatives Districts, and are equal in number to 7 percent of those who voted in each of those House districts in the preceding general election. This is a significant set of hurdles to surmount, but as Alaskans for Honest Elections has shown, it’s not impossible.

Previously on RedState: Alaskans for Honest Elections Turn in Petitions to Repeal Ranked-Choice Voting 

A Big Year for the Last Frontier: Mary Peltola, Voting Records and Ranked-Choice

The opponents of the repeal, including the group that originally got RCV on the 2020 ballot, Alaskans for Better Elections, won’t be standing idly by.

Proponents of ranked-choice voting kept their organization alive to fight any attempts to repeal it. Alaskans for Better Elections will have massive amounts of dark money at their disposal to persuade voters to keep the system, in which there are no separate party primaries, and where general elections are done by ranking who voters prefer, followed by their second choice and third choice.

This is a grossly unscientific survey, but week in and week out, I talk to quite a few people up and down the Susitna Valley and in the nearby towns of Meadow Lakes and Wasilla. My general impression is that, out here in the Borough, RCV is roundly unpopular. Even so, the system put in place, as MustReadAlaska’s Suzanne Downing points out, was heavily funded by out-of-state money; it’s more than likely that more money from outside will be dumped into Alaska to keep this ill-advised system in place.

At this point it’s unclear whether the repeal initiative will first appear on the August primary ballot or the November general election ballot; in either case, RCV will still be in place for November’s election. And make no mistake – proponents of putting RCV in place in other states will be watching how Alaskans vote this fall.

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