Sarah Palin Says The Fact She Lost Is Proof Something’s Wrong With “Rank Choice” Voting

( Sarah Palin cited Alaska’s new election procedure for her defeat in the special election to represent Alaska in the U.S. House. In the primaries in June, which had contenders from every political party, she garnered a 27 percent plurality. However, three further candidates made it to the August primary election, which was determined via ranked-choice voting (although one candidate withdrew), and Palin lost.

Palin noted that back in June, she won had it been winner-take-all. She won pretty quickly out of almost 50 candidates. However, after that, ranked-choice voting begins, and things get confusing and convoluted.

Palin didn’t suddenly reject ranked-choice voting after she lost. Throughout the campaign, she was criticizing the system. She claimed the technique is comparable to “voter suppression” and that many believe “my vote’s not going to count.”

Senator Tom Cotton, the Republican from Arkansas, said that ranked-choice voting is a gimmick to corrupt elections. He noted that 60% of voters in Alaska choose a Republican, but a Democrat “won” because of a complicated process and ballot exhaustion, depriving citizens of their right to vote.

It is accurate that Mary Peltola, the winning Democrat, received only 40% of the first-choice votes.

Maine Republicans want to do away with ranked-choice voting. In a three-way race in 2014, Republican Bruce Poliquin won the second congressional district with 47% of the vote. He lost reelection four years later, despite receiving a majority of the first-choice votes (46 percent) after Maine lawmakers instituted ranked-choice voting.

Ranked-choice voting makes it more difficult for Republicans to capture the majority in Maine’s bluish congressional elections since it eliminates the chance of a plurality victory. Ranked-choice vote, though, ought to be a layup for Republicans in Alaska, which is redder.

Alaska hasn’t voted for a Democrat in a presidential race since 1964.

So what happened?

One of the other two candidates in the August special election was the Republican Nick Begich. GOP officials had to persuade their supporters that placing Palin first and Begich second would ensure that Alaska would send a Republican to the White House to win. Given the state’s substantial Republican registration advantage over Democrats and its overall conservative leanings (it hasn’t supported a Democrat in a presidential contest since 1964), that ought to have been more than enough.

Instead, Begich and Palin engaged in acrimonious political conflict with one another.