Two years ago, Alaska voted in a ranked voting system so instead of the person with the most votes winning, the winner has to have more than 50% of the votes otherwise, they go through the last place person and add their votes to the other candidates based on the voters second choice. If there is still no clear cut winner, they go to the third choice, etc.
In addition, it takes a while for many mail in votes to make it to the election division. Since the election was on November 8th, the state gave till November 23rd for mail in votes to get there and be counted.
Originally, Trumps backed candidate lead but by less than 1.5% of the total vote and at the end, the incumbent crept ahead but she only led by a small amount and did not even get to 45% of the vote. Even the incumbent house candidate didn’t have the 50% needed to be declared the winner.
So on the afternoon of November 23rd, the election officials began counting second and third choices with the hopes that someone would get over 50% as required by law. At the end of the counting, the Senate incumbent was declared the winner with over 53% of the votes and the house incumbent won with over 50% of the votes.
Originally, I wasn’t sure how I felt about the new system but after using it, I actually like it for several reasons. If there is a candidate I do not want at all, I don’t have to mark them down at all so if my vote is redistributed, no vote counts for them.
Next, it allows for a more clear cut winner. Before, if there was a small difference, the losing candidate always demanded a recount, complained something happened etc but by redistributing the second and third choice votes, the margin can be significant and not require a recount.
It also gives the person who is slight behind in race with multiple people a chance to pull a head and win. In the race for house, Sarah Palin jumped from 26% of the votes to over 45% of the votes when the votes were redistributed but the incumbent still ended up with the needed amount to win outright so there were no runoffs.
Yes, I’m happy with the winners but it was like watching a horse race with the person leading in the Senate race being slightly ahead and watching the second place person pull up, pass them, and then jump ahead. Let me know what you think, I’d love to hear. Have a great day.