Letters to the Editor

Letter: Republicans shouldn't fear RCV

House Bill 4 attempts to replace Alaska’s ranked choice voting system. This is an insult to the majority of Alaska voters who passed the RCV referendum just three years ago.

Worse, this bill would reinstate the old system, which causes so much harm at the national level.

In his July 31, 2023 column, Cal Thomas asked, “Who is to blame for the corrosive nature of today’s politics?” and offered his opinion. “Some blame the media. Others fault politicians. (…) The real blame lies with voters.” He neglects to mention the election system itself.

Presidential candidates are mainly selected by party activists, often the most extreme.

Then, in the general election, voters get one, and only one, candidate from each party.

Furthermore, the system lacks depth. It provides no mechanism to register your second and third choices. This leads to spoiler situations where your vote for an independent candidate probably helps the major party candidate you most strongly oppose. RCV addresses these shortcomings, invites greater participation and shifts some power from the parties back to the voters.

Republicans need not fear RCV. In the U.S. House race, for example, rank Nick Begich III first and Nancy Dahlstrom second or the other way around. If 51% of the voters do the same, one of them will win.


Republicans, including Gov. Mike Dunleavy, did just fine in 2022.

Alaska is trying something with tremendous potential to help the whole country. Let’s give it a few more election cycles and learn better how it works in practice.

— Tom Baring


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