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The Review: Ballot Measure 2 – Deep Dive Edition

Join the Alaska Landmine’s Director of Photography Cale Green as he explores the history, function, and implications of Ballot Measure 2.

Transcript:

INTRO

Welcome back to another episode of the review hosted here on the Alaska Landmine. I’m your host, Cale Green, and today we’re going to be talking about something that I’ve been aching to discuss for months now. And this issue is probably the most important vote that any of us here in Alaska will cast on November 3rd

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Be Safe

No, it’s not the presidential election – Alaska’s electoral votes will go to Trump. I’m calling that race right here, right now. Sorry and congratulations.

And it’s not the Senate race, or Don Young’s seat or even Ballot Measure 1.

No, the most important vote this cycle, is one you may not have heard about, it’s not as sexy as national races or as well funded as reforming oil taxes– the most important vote you’ll cast this election cycle is a yes or no vote on Ballot Measure 2.

And today, we’re going to go on a deep dive into what it is, why it’s so important, and what the real world implications might be

If this passes it will have huge impacts on the future of our elections and how we exercise our vote to choose who runs our state. Welcome to the Review –

SONG PLAYS

So to start, Ballot Measure 2 is a multifaceted initiative that deals entirely with electioneering. There are so many pieces to this bill that a complaint that it was too complicated was brought before the Alaska Supreme Court, and while the case was struck down, there are substantially more issues contained within this measure than Alaskans are used to – this bill is not the norm, it’s the outlier. The 25 page Initiative, called Alaska’s Better Elections Initiative is dozens of statutory changes, in order to create eight separate broad changes to Alaska’s election law – three of which we’ll be diving into today – this is what it would do according to the bill: READ BILL LANGUAGE

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SUMMERIZING THE MAIN THREE PIECES OF THE INITIATIVE

The three main pieces of the initiative can be summarized as

  1. Increasing the transparency around Dark Money. While normally, Dark Money is a nebulous campaign term, and how I believe it will be interpreted by most voters, the Initiative defines it more specifically as “a contribution whose source…is not disclosed to the public” (SHOW LANGUAGE SEC 17). The initiative accomplishes this goal by increasing the regulatory hurdles required from independent expenditures for candidates who raise a large amount of their funding from out of state and/or on individuals or groups who donate more than $2,000k to these Independent Expenditures. This includes how they’re able to show their messages, and how quickly they need to report those new contributions.
  2. Opening up Alaska’s primary system. Right now, Alaska has two closed primary pathways to the general election ballot, although to be fair, those aren’t the only ways onto the Ballot or into the seat (LISA PICTURE ON SCREEN). But as far as the party systems go – either you go up the Republican Party Ballot or you try your luck at the substantially more open ‘Alaska Democratic-Alaskan Independencene Ballot. This part of the initiative will change Alaska’s voting system to be a nonpartisan open primary, or what some politicos refer to as a Jungle primary. (WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE) Where the top 4 vote getters advance to the general election.
  3. Changing Alaska’s general election from a winner takes all system where the candidate with the most votes is elected (even if they received a minority of votes cast in the first round) –to a system of ranked choice voting. Where voters can choose second and third and fourth (there could be less than 4) choice candidates, and the candidates with the fewest votes are successively eliminated until, of the remaining candidates, one is the preference of a majority of voters. (GRAPHIC) It would work like this. The four candidates who got the most votes advance from the primary system to do battle in the general. When people go to vote, they rank their candidates from 1st favorite to last, if they want to. When the four candidates’ votes are tallied, whoever gets the fewest votes is eliminated and their second choice votes are distributed to the remaining candidates in accordance with the numerical choice of the voter. If nobody wins there it happens a second time to reveal the winner of the race.(GRAPHIC)(HALCRO, COFFEE, DEMBOSKI, BERKOWITZ) There are countless videos with pretty pictures online that highlight this better than I can and I suggest watching any of them to understand how this works. Currently, the ranked choice voting system is used in 13 U.S. cities, including early-adopter San Francisco. The state of Maine also passed Ranked Choice Voting in 2016 and will hold their second federal election with it on November 3rd which includes the elections of Moderate Republican Susan Collins. Many countries around the world — including Scotland, Northern Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand also use Ranked Choice voting. As of the November 3rd election in 2020, Alaska and Massachusetts are the only two states that will be voting on whether to adopt Ranked Choice voting.

PRIMARY ELECTION HISTORY

Now, while these issues have never been packaged together on the same ballot before, Alaska has had a long history with SOME of these issues. From 1947 til the first year after statehood Alaska had blanket primaries. In a blanket primary all candidates run on a single primary ballot and the candidates from each party who receive the most votes move forward as the parties’ nominee.

During the first legislative session of the first legislature, from 1960-1967, Alaska switched to a Single Ballot Open Primaries system. Which, Id’ never heard of – it goes like this: “Voters received one ballot listing candidates from both parties. Voters marked a box indicating they were voting Democrat or Republican. If they voted for candidates from more than one party, their ballots were invalidated.” Which is just wild.

Then at the behest of Wally J. Hickel in 1967 the legislature restored the blanket primary system.

For a majority of statehood, Alaska has had blanket primaries. However, in 1992, the Republican party of Alaska challenged the constitutionality of the blanket primary, and said that they wanted to close their primary off because it violated their right of association. The state made a deal with them and the Republican party was allowed to close their primaries during the 92 and 94 election. Republicans got their own ballot, and everyone else was on another. In 1996 though, the Alaska Supreme Court ruled that the Blanket Primary did not infringe on the party’s right to free association – which returned the primaries to where they’d been before 1992.

This was the law of the land until June of 2000 when the US Supreme Court Decision in California Democratic Party v. Jones, invalidated the primary system we had in Alaska. This case stemmed from the 1996 vote in California, proposition 198 to open up their primaries.

The US Supreme Court agreed that the blanket primary system violated the parties’ First Amendment rights of association. In a 7-2 majority opinion, Justice Scalia wrote, “A single election in which the party nominee is selected by the nonparty members could be enough to destroy the party.”

What’s interesting about this case isn’t that it was really a violation of their right to freely associate, but instead their right to not associate with people outside their party.

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This prompted the State of Alaska to adopt emergency regulations that allowed the Alaska Republican Party to close their primary elections again, just as they did in 1992 and 1994.

In 2001 the Twenty-Second Legislature passed HB 193, which specified that each political party got a primary. In 2002, the year after HB 193 passed, there were 6 different primary ballots that a voter could choose from.

Meanwhile, not in the legislature – the Alaska people voted on an initiative questioning whether or not they wanted to open their system back up again along with an instant run-off voting system. This proposal looked a lot like the ranked-choice system in Ballot Measure 2 – only this system would have allowed 5 candidates to advance instead of 4 to the general election.

Alaskans voted this down by a 64-36 margin. However, it’s important to note that the initiative was held during the primary election. Parties, have been historically opposed to open primaries and the people who show up in primaries tend to favor partisan orthodoxy.

6 years later, in 2008, we saw another challenge at the Supreme Court on how states were allowed to conduct their primaries. The Grange case involved an open primary in Washington State, in which top two vote getters of each party would advance to the general, regardless of party. So whereas the Jones case allowed the open primary to pick the parties nominee, the Grange case said that as long as that wasn’t what was happening, it was fair game. Or, as Landmine Legal Council Lee Baxter put it to me in an email:

“In other words, because the party selection happened before the new primary and voters were merely choosing which two candidates moved to the runoff instead of selecting the party’s nominee to go to the general election, the Washington State primary did not violate any party’s associational rights.”

This case, and the nuance that it provided on top of the Jones case, is ultimately what makes the discussion of the open primary system, being proposed by Ballot Measure 2, possible

And while I’m tempted to get into some of the more recent Alaska based drama that has taken place since 2002, bringing the number of primaries from 6 down to 2, we’ll have to save that for another episode.

INTRODUCTION OF ARGUMENTS

This episode has to remain as focused on BM2 as possible, but just from trying to establish a history of this thing, it’s easy to get sucked down rabbit holes. What I want to try to explain next is the strongest arguments from each side. Let’s start with the strongest argument for Yes on 2.

YES ON 2 – Partisan Orthodoxy is Destructive
Partisan Orthodoxy is Destructive. The systems of party control as we experience it in America has become all consuming and Americans are fed up with it. Opening up the primary system and creating a ranked choice voting system will allow more ideologically moderate candidates to gain traction in what feels like a hopelessly ultra-partisan landscape. This won’t get rid of politically conservative or liberal ideology, but it will work to end the litmus test of numerous particular positions. The closed, partisan primaries in Alaska receive such abysmally low voter turnout it can hardly be argued at all that they represent the will of the people. We shouldn’t be testing all candidates at that level, because that system has created a two party divide with significantly small overlap. A majority of voters are independent and not part of the party machine, and they deserve a voice. This system doesn’t represent the people and it fails at making sure American values are upheld. We can simply point to the troubles happening nationally and realize that Alaska is not best served by Mitch McConnel or Nancy Pelosi.

As a counter to that, I’m going to present their strongest point now of No on 2, as a rebuke of the Yes position.

NO ON 2 – The Parties are Important and this devalues them.
The parties are important and this ballot measure significantly devalues them. This is a fundamentally republican process, and I mean republican as in form of government, not as in the Republican Party. This type of system is consistent with the founders thinking for a couple of reasons. First, primary voters are likely more informed than participants during the general election. This creates a system where those who choose to participate in the partisan election before hand are acting on the party’s behalf to create a system that is not Direct Democracy, which the founders were against. The two party system, fundamentally started at the end of Washington’s administration, was all but guaranteed by the founders as part of the Newtonian system of checks and balances that they proposed during the formation of the constitution. Bodies were to act as counters to other bodies, whether that be parties or branches of government, and the resulting conflict was to create a chimerical set of new ideas that would be the basis of our system of laws. The primaries aren’t supposed to bring out the largest swath of the electorate, they’re supposed to create a system of duopoly of the top two most supported ideologies and that struggle, with both sides needing something from the other would yield, in a compromise, the results best for the whole. A super bowl with two teams, not with three. The struggle yields the best results when the two sides concede to create something new.

Okay, now I want to go back to argue another one of the Yes side’s arguments.

YES ON 2 – Ranked Choice Voting is a Fairer System
By instituting the Ranked Choice system you’re going to remove the Spoiler Effect and theoretically encourage broad base appeal by enfranchising voter groups that have historically been disenfranchised. Spoiler effects, for those who don’t know is when a third party candidate siphons off enough votes so that somebody can win with less than 50%+1 of the vote, we’ve seen this historically with candidates like Ralph Nader. Our current system of plurality wins in the general, in which a candidate doesn’t need to win by a majority of voters, but instead by a plurality of them, doesn’t actually allow a majority rule. It creates a system where a candidate in a three way race could win with 34% of the vote. The Ranked Choice system makes sure that each candidate who wins has 50% +1 vote. This theory posits that the candidate chosen will have to be responsible to a more diverse portion of the electorate. This perceived broadening of the political electorate will encourage candidates who traditionally have a harder time getting elected to run, candidates with differing political positions or women, minority racial groups, or folks of lower socio-economic status. We can look at the election turnout increases in cities and states that have adopted Ranked Choice voting and see that the trend is to increase voter turnout immediately after passage.

Conversely –

NO ON 2 – Ranked Choice Voting is Confusing
Simply put. It’s confusing. Tanks don’t roll because of elections in America. They never have. They do in other places. And this, despite what proponents say, is more confusing. Period. Our system now makes a lot of sense. One person, one vote. Even if they don’t win with 50%+1 of the vote, that rarely happens in Alaska. In the 2018 election, out of 52 races, 3 candidates won with less than 50% of the vote. In 2016, the number was the same – that only applied to three candidates. And to be fair, 33% of those races involve Dustin Darden in district 22. It feels like a straw man argument to get folks to buy into something that’s untested and unproven. If our system now is the most simple, this system being in any way more complicated is more confusing to voters. While the democratic primary results in Iowa are not 100% analogous, the outcome is easy to understand. Bernie Sanders claimed he won because he had the most votes. But Pete Budigeg was eventually given the victory, much to the confusion of Democrats Nation wide. This is taking a system that works, and works well, and it’s distorting it to trying and change outcomes without knowing what type of outcome it could possibly have. Right now, with how crazy the country is, we don’t need to interject any more doubt into the conversation. This measure interjects doubt. And as far as the claim that Ballot Measure 2 will increase disenfranchised groups participation, far from it – in a recent article from Ethnic Media Services .org Jason McDaniel, Associate Professor of Political Science at San Francisco State university says that he believes the system “could lead to disparities in voting “It advantages higher education voters and older voters who are used to the process.”

“The complexity is a barrier; not an insurmountable barrier, but a barrier nonetheless”

Simply put, don’t let anyone tell you that this system will have a certain outcome, because we simply don’t know yet – the science is still out. And it should be, only one state has adopted this 4 years ago.

But, away from the arguments about voting, now we’ve come to Yes on 2’s last major argument about the impact of Dark Money on Elections. And again, through all of this, I want to state that I’m trying to just articulate their positions, that doesn’t mean these are mine.

YES ON 2 – Dark Money Has Had a Corrosive Impact on Alaska Elections
Dark money has had a corrosive impact on Elections in Alaska. Dark money has bought elections in Alaska before and often voters are unaware of where that money is coming from. Citizens United was a bad decision and money isn’t free speech. By reforming dark money that’s spent on elections that get candidates elected in Alaska we’re leveling the playing field and allowing people to have a voice and not get drowned out by special interest groups from in state and out of state that want to control the outcome of Alaska elections. Citizens United has nothing in it that protects people’s ability to give anonymously, this initiative could be seen as the most we could do to make their donations now, transparent. Too often organizations work to shield the rich from having to disclose their identity when it comes to spending. We’re not saying you can’t spend money. We’re saying people have to know exactly who you are.

Now, I’m probably not going to spend much more time talking about their side for dark money. Because well, I think it’s a winner at the polls – ‘Getting dark money out of politics’ has been the promise of every election reform since I was born. If this issue ended up being voted on individually, without the other pieces of the ballot measure, I’d imagine it would win with 70% or the people being for it and 30% being against it – if not at a higher margin.

So let’s break down the opposing rebuttal.

NO ON 2 – Money is Free Speech, and this could have a chilling effect
The most ironic part of the Yes on 2 campaign, is that it’s actually funded by what most people think of as Dark Money from outside interests. What is dark money, especially as people understand it colloquially? And is it dark money or is it freedom of speech? The Citizens United case of 2008 that rules 5-4 that money could be speech is the law of the land. It came about because people tried to get money out of politics and it’s not possible. How many times have we reinvented the wheel? Somehow the money is always spent by rich people. Let’s talk a hypothetical here –

If Mark Zuckerberg moved to Alaska and wanted to run for governor who could stop him? Not Dunleavy, Begich, or Lisa Murkowski could stand up to the Facebook Money Machine. Well let’s just say in this scenario Elon Musk was mad at Zuckerberg and wanted to put up his money against him. Cause, idk, maybe zuckerberg crashed one of his satellites into Musk’s self-driving semi-manufacturing plant. Not cool. But Musk would have a difficult time creating a group in Alaska because of the extreme reporting requirements, which change some deadlines from 10 days to 24 hours. There are also increases to regulations regarding the way you can present advertisements.

If throughout the entirety of the paid time. ←? If you buy a 30 second commercial, a paid for by disclosure needs to be shown the entire time. Not just at the end – like is required now. Like a skull and crossbones on a pack of cigarettes which could be a deterrent.

If we believe in the highest law of the land, in this case it’s Citizens United, and say that free speech is money – this could, in time, easily be argued to have a chilling effect on our ability to exercise our right.

And this brings me to the final argument from the No Side

NO ON 2 – Outside Interests Are Funding the Yes Campaign
The Yes Campaign is being financed by outside groups. A lions share of the funding, a large majority, is from out of state special interests who view Alaska as a cheap date. Outside interests are trying to make us a testing ground for their experiment in democracy and Alaskans don’t get bought so easily by outsiders. It’s true, the Yes campaign is out of state money. Some Alaskans have donated but it’s not by a significant enough portion to matter. The Alaskans who’ve donated are mostly friends with the people organizing it here locally.

Around 4 million dollars has poured into the state trying to buy Alaska’s Election. This thing is as outside as it gets.

And now – a counter to that argument

YES ON 2 – Yes on 2 is an Alaskan Effort
Ballot Measure 2 is chaired by, ran by, and supported by Alaskans. The money coming from outside is nice, but Alaskans have also donated to this thing. Money comes in all the time for US Senate races, in fact, it would be impossible to imagine running a modern Federal race without a majority of money coming from the outside, whether that was in the form of Super pac money or individual donations to the campaigns. In fact, a large portion of the money that came in to elect our current governor came in from out of state. The idea that this movement isn’t Alaskan because a portion of our money comes from out of state is an attempt to distract you from the issues. The truth is, our opponents are afraid to talk about anything else because they know when it comes to the arguments, theirs fall short. People are fed up for all the reasons we’ve listed, and they’re arguing that the rules aren’t fair when they serve as an example as to why we need them to be stricter. They openly flaunted their wrong doing and violated even the most basic law of disclosure and tried to pull a fast one on Alaskan voters. It’s a laughable claim to say that WE aren’t playing by the rules.

REAL WORLD IMPLICATIONS: HOW THE CAMPAIGNS WENT WRONG

Okay, now that I’ve argued both sides I want to be clear. I’m not sure how I’m voting. I’m largely doing this episode of The Review in the hopes that by thoroughly researching this issue, I can figure it out for myself. But I do think that the Yes side is going to win. In fact, I’m very sure that they will. If one person wanted to bet me, I’ve got $300 on it. But only one person. I can’t be in $300 bets with everyone in who watches the review. I’ve come to this conclusion for two reasons. First, I’ve been watching polling, talking with politcos, and regular people – and at this point, I also just have a gut feeling about it. Months ago, I figured that Yes on 2 had the stronger, more campaignable issues from the beginning. Their topics hits on a more populist note during the election with the largest turn out. Seems like a no brainer. People are fed up with partisan politics and this may or may not be the answer, but people are ready to do something regardless. People are fed up with Congress and they’re fed up with the legislature not getting stuff done in Juneau and sessions consistently going on WAY past 90 days. I don’t think anyone can make the case today that we’ve got a citizen legislature. I dont know how anyone could hold a job and be down in Juneau for 6 months a year. Secondly, the No campaign’s performance has been…well, bad. They’ve not only made a couple unforced errors, but they’ve also presented weaker arguments to audiences who’re already voting their way.

From my understanding, it’s moderates and moderate left voters who will carry this thing over the finish line. So, it would stand to reason that the No campaign should have focused their energy there. They should have talked about how Mark Begich and Planned Parenthood opposed this thing. They should have engaged with voters on the left and reminded them about the failures in Iowa at the democratic caucus and stoked their fears about a trump election that would be unclear and that would potentially allow him to steal the presidency. They also had the ability to try to encourage their base, likely a more republican group right now – to vote against this thing as a vote against Lisa Murkowski.

Right, wrong, or indifferent – many Republicans are not happy with Lisa. It’s not a secret. Had the folks at No on 2 wanted a winning message to convince their base about this, they would have said this is Lisa’s backdoor to winning the Senate in 2 years. But instead the No campaign has spent all of their time conflating issues that have nothing to do with the initiative. I’ve been watching public appearances by folks at No on 2, and getting all the email blasts, and I’m not sure if the No campaign knows how to reach out to folks outside of more conservative circles with their messages. Here’s one of the groups Facebook posts.

(INSERT SF GRAPHIC)

Where they claim that homelessness is related to Ranked Choice Voting being implemented. While they were at it, they should have said that theft went up and infant mortality went up, or that since 2004 Barack Obama was elected. Or anything else that has nothing to do with Ranked Choice voting.

And the other time, they’ve spent arguing about the money that the Yes campaign has received has been from out of state.

Don’t get me wrong, for a lot of folks – that’s a convincing enough message. But at some point most people will want an argument that’s more substantive.

I’m not sure if it’s possible, if Im being fair here. From what I’m able to tell, it looks like the Yes campaign has had somewhere around 15x more financing than the No side. Which, by all metrics should be considered a blow-out. If the Yes side lost at this point, it would be extremely embarrassing. This margin in the amount raised by the two campaigns all but assues this as a victory, and hardly as a hard fought campaign.

And that makes sense, because I’ve been confused by the Yes vote’s tactics nearly as much as the No. Maybe I’m not being targeted. Yet, I’ve seen their ads, they’ve been sponsored to me. I watch all the content they put out on the platforms I can monitor. But, if I’m being totally honest – I don’t think anyone knows what this thing is. And maybe their goal was never to try and explain it to most voters. The Yes folks have held many in-depth town-hall like discussions with very academic folks. I’ve found that their attendance is never high, but those in attendance seem to be highly informed, more moderate voters. I don’t think most people have any idea what this thing is.

They have sound bites like this, and yet they’re not blasting it to moderate republicans.

(BEN SHAPIRO CLIP)

They’re focused on talking about high minded rhetoric that seems to engage with a facet of the electorate. And again, I think they’re going to win. Facebook doesn’t win campaigns, but even if so – they’ve spent more than $152k dollars on their Facebook presence since July 1 and they’ve been able to get 2.7k likes on their page. Their highest video ad was this one of Erich Reed – and I can see why. Erich. You’re really helping to increase those favorables amongst older women.

Now, if they’ve only spent $152k on Facebook, I’m going to assume their reach on TV, Youtube, and other platforms is quite extensive. That’s about triple what the Dunleavy IE spent in 2018 on Social.

Even if it’s only been a little bit of engagement with the public practically, it’s more than the No campaign has gotten. But I think that most people probably will see the measure for the first time in the ballot box. And the language seems to favor a yes vote on first pass. The act, as voters will read this – starts with doing away with the party primary’s. Remember most people don’t participate in those. This is going to give most people, in their minds, a new choice that they didn’t previously have. That alone would probably be enough. For folks who have heard a little something, they’ve probably just heard this is the solution to partisanship – and that alone would get their vote. How many times have you heard non-politicos say, ‘I vote for the person, not the party!’

From a campaign perspective alone, I’m having a hard time imagining Yes on 2 losing.

REAL WORLD IMPLICATIONS: What the goal of this thing is

It’s not a secret amongst political circles. What this thing is. This is a lever being pulled for a few reasons. There are probably three things that shape this more than anything else.
The 2018 Gubernatorial Election
Jason Grenn’s 2018 Election
Lisa Murkowski’s 2022 Election

Because I’ve made such a deep dive into this topic already, I don’t want to spend eternity talking about this issue, and subsequently performing it as I am now – but I do want to touch on each of these briefly to explain why I think this is happening.

First, a majority of folks on the Yes side were part of Governor Walker’s organization or team. The 2018 election saw the introduction of an Independent Expenditure for Governor Dunleavy that did a lot of heavy lifting for the official campaign. Full disclosure, I worked on that Independent Expenditure. Many of the ‘dark ad’ provisions in this seem to be aimed at curtailing the type of campaigning that happened in 2018. The Dark money provisions would go a long way toward ‘fixing’ this issue in their eyes.

Secondly, Jason Grenn’s 2018 (and 2016) election saw what was probably a spoiler in the race. His race versus Sara Rasmussen was not a one on one. Full Disclosure, I’ve done videos for Sara’s 2018 and 2020 race. Perennial candidate Dustin Darden was also in the 2018 race as a democrat. Jason Grenn was an independent and stuck in the middle. Even the incumbent advantage wasn’t enough. He ended up losing to Rasmussen even though she did not have a majority of the votes. Most likely, Darden pulled votes from Grenn and cost him the 2018 election. Funny enough, Darden likely pulled votes in 2016 when he ran under the Alaska Independence Party banner and gave Grenn the seat. Ranked Choice voting would fix that in either direction. This could end that spoiled effect.

And lastly, maybe the most impactful consequence of the passage of Ballot Measure 2 – is the pathway to victory it opens up for Lisa Murkowski. Full disclosure – my first campaign internship was with Lisa in 2010. And I worked for her campaign in 2016. And I also like Lisa Murkowski. Now right now, with Lisa’s numbers in a Republican Primary – I’m having a really hard time imagining her being able to run through the gauntlet of a Republican Party again. I think that there would be a lot of potential ways to get knocked out going that direction. If she can’t easily win a Republican primary she either has to run as a petition or as an independent in the Alaska Democratic Party / Independence Party ballot. Both options present serious problems.

Unless Ballot Measure 2 passes.

If Ballot Measure 2 passes I see Lisa, who is largely favorable amongst moderates on both sides of the spectrum – having a clear pathway to victory. Or at least, substantially more clear than if she ran under the system we have now.

Whooooo – Holy shit what a dive. Clearly, I’ve been wanting to talk about this for months. I’m not sure if this is going to be cut into one episode of two but thank you for the small handful that made it this far.

OUTRO

At the end of this break down, after all the history and arguments for each side I think it all really comes down to this: If you like how elections are right now, if you think the current system is fair, Vote no. If you don’t, vote Yes. We don’t know exactly what the implications of a Yes vote are yet. We really won’t fully understand the full consequences for years to come – it’ll take a while for politicos to figure out how to play this new game. But regardless of what you think – it will be different. It will change things. And if you want that, vote yes.

That doesn’t mean it would be this way forever, if the history of Alaska’s primary elections has shown us anything it’s that this can and will change. If the Ballot Measure passed, the legislature cannot alter it for two years. But after that, they can do whatever they want. If the 2022 election is just the worst thing ever – the legislature can throw it out.

Thanks for joining on the longest episode of the review and maybe our last one before the election is over. If I don’t post anything between now and then, it’s been awesome talking about issues and I look forward to talking to you again on election night during the election night coverage being hosted by The Alaska Landmine. See you next time and good luck deciding how you’re going to vote on this one.

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Skylar King-Strang
29 days ago

Cale, this was excellent. I have been wanting to make a video explaining this measure myself, but you did it so much better than I could have. I will be sharing this around to my peers. Thank you.

Dan
29 days ago

I am puzzled by the claim that ranked choice voting is confusing. I hear this over and over and I don’t get it. Confusing is me having to choose between Marna Sanford and Evan Eades not based on my preference, but based on my prediction of who is most “electable”. There is nothing confusing about ranking 5 candidates 1-5. The first two are the ones I like. The middle two are the ones ive never heard of and the last one is tbe cirrupt SOB I loathe. Thats easy. Some of us might not undetstand the mechanism for counting votes… Read more »