This past November’s election in Arizona was a complete disaster. Not only did voting machines fail across Maricopa County, but many voters were suppressed and disenfranchised. Right now, we should be working toward solutions that restore voter confidence and ensure election integrity. But believe it or not, some national groups and liberal billionaires are planning to come to Arizona to run a ballot initiative that would make our elections even more complicated.
It’s called ranked-choice voting, and if you haven’t heard of it, it works a little something like this.
- Candidates are listed on the ballot, and voters rank each candidate in order of preference.
- If a candidate wins 50% or more of the first-preference votes, he or she is declared the winner.
- If no one wins in the first round, the candidate with the fewest first-preference votes is eliminated.
- In the next round, voters who selected the eliminated candidate as their first choice then have their vote counted for their second preference.
- The process continues until one candidate eventually wins the majority of the adjusted votes.
Complicated? Yes. Confusing? You bet. How do you think voting machines that had enough trouble with our current system would handle this? And if you thought it took awhile to get results during this past election, can you imagine how long it would take with a ranked-choice voting system in place?
Not surprisingly, it’s primarily being pushed by Democrats to prevent Republicans from being elected, which happened last year in Alaska after the state adopted the system in 2020. Despite nearly 60 percent of votes cast for a Republican on all first-choice ballots, Democrat Mary Peltola would go on to defeat Republican Sarah Palin in a special election House race last August. This marked the first time since 1973 that a Democrat would represent Alaska in the lower chamber.
But that’s not the only problem. Ranked-choice voting has also proven itself to be unreliable.
Just look at what happened in Alameda County, California. Nearly two months after the November election, the county announced that it counted the ballots incorrectly. While most races went unaffected, it did change the outcome in an Oakland School Board race, leaving the certified winner to have to give up his seat to the third-place finisher, who actually won.
On top of all this, a ranked-choice voting system brings longer ballots, which means you can forget about voting on one ballot anymore. (You would think that this dramatic rise in the amount of paper needed would throw the Green New Deal people into a tailspin, but they don’t seem to care as long as they’re rigging the system in their favor.) It would also likely put an end to our current primary process, and it would result in ballot exhaustion. That’s right. If a voter overvotes, undervotes, or only ranks candidates who are eliminated from contention, their ballot is discarded and doesn’t count toward the end result. A study published in 2015 that reviewed four elections in Washington State and California, actually found that as a result of ballot exhaustion, the winner in all four elections received less than a majority of the total votes cast.
The supporters of this absurd process claim they want free and fair elections, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. They want to find any way they can to manipulate our election system in their favor. Now, as national groups arrive in Arizona to push ranked-choice voting in our state, it’s up to you to decline to sign their petitions. And it’s on our Republican legislature to take action to stop this system or any other similar system from being enacted in the state.
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