As partisan warfare has become the norm in state legislatures and Congress, Alaska is set to embark on an experiment to see if voters themselves can disarm the combatants.
A new election system, narrowly passed by voters in 2020 and set to be used in this year’s races, is aimed at getting candidates to appeal to a broad range of voters beyond their traditional base. The system would end party primaries and send the top four vote-getters, regardless of party affiliation, to the general election, where ranked-choice voting would determine a winner.
The model is unique among states and viewed by supporters as a way to encourage civility and cooperation among elected officials. A sponsor of the initiative, Republican-turned-independent former state lawmaker Jason Grenn, called Alaska a test case “in a major way” for similar efforts being considered in other states, including Nevada. (Read more from “Election Overhaul in Alaska Aimed at Reducing Partisanship” HERE)
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