Sarah Palin, who ran for Alaska’s Ione House seat, has condemned the results of the special election, which was revealed on Thursday. The special election used ranked-choice voting to declare Mary Peltola, her democrat opponent, as the winner.
Palin condemned the election, saying the ranked-choice voting system was painted as though it would reflect the people’s will throughout the election. She added that the results from her election proved that the opposite is true.
She added, “The people of Alaska do not want the destructive democrat agenda to rule our land and our lives, but that’s what resulted from someone’s experiment with this new crazy, convoluted, confusing ranked-choice voting system.”
The ranked-choice voting system enables voters to rank candidates by preference on their ballot in rounds. Any candidate who gets over 50% in the first round can outright win the election. In situations where no candidate gets over 50% of the votes, the candidate who gets the lowest votes is cut off from the race. This candidate will then count votes for the other options, and that cycle continues till the final two candidates are left. Of these two, the candidate who gets the most votes in the last round wins the election.
For the first time in Alaska’s history, voters in the state went to the polls to vote through this rank choice system. Palin expressed her displeasure as she said the voting system only succeeded in disenfranchising 60% of the voters. This is because her opponent, Peltola, won the special election with only 40% of the votes in the first count.
However, NBC News reported Monday that Palin was defeated by Peltola following the election results. Peltola had 51.5% of the votes, while Palin got 58.5% of the votes counted in the ranked-choice results.
— Sarah Palin (@SarahPalinUSA) September 1, 2022
Alaska Division of Election supports ranked-choice voting as the website says it benefits the voters and lets them have a say on who gets elected.
The website reads, “By ranking multiple candidates, you can still have a voice in who gets elected even if your top choice does not win. Ranking multiple candidates ensures your vote will go toward your second, third, fourth, or fifth choice if your top choice is eliminated, giving you more voice in who wins.”
Sarah Erkmann Ward, a political consultant, also commented about the election results, saying it should be a wake-up call to republicans on how to vote using this system in the future.
She said, “Today’s reels should illustrate to Republicans very clearly that when they choose not to rank, there’s a good possibility that when their favorite candidate is eliminated, then their vote will no longer be in the mix. That appears to be what happened here.”
She added, “A certain segment of Republicans elected not to rank. That’s the consequence of not continuing on down your ballot.”
Palin has been defeated in the race to fill the deceased Don Young congregational seat for the main time. However, the November election will determine who will eventually get the set for the next two years, and Palin has said she would learn from this voting system mistake.
She said, “Though we’re disappointed in this outcome, Alaskans know I’m the last one who’ll ever retreat. Instead, I’m going to reload.”