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We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

What Difference Does the Voting Method Make?

            Today was Primary Election Day in Alaska. It was the first time that an Alaskan election was held using the progressive ranked-choice voting (RCV) for state and federal general elections. Alaskans were promised in November 2020, that the RCV method would give us “more choice and more voice.”

I did not vote for RCV because it sounded like a bad way to run an election. I like the “one person, one vote” model. My experience with the RCV ballot found it confusing, and I would gladly vote to do away with it. It seems to me that it gives less choice and less voice even as it claims to give more of each. My question is, “Did Lisa Murkowski work to change Alaska’s voting system to get her re-elected?”

Recently, Project Veritas Action released a new video about the RCV method. From the information in the video, it appears that Senator Lisa Murkowski was somehow behind the passing of the RCV method in Alaska. The video exposes two Murkowski paid staff members discussing the passing of the RCV method. The following information from the video comes from Project Veritas

In the video, Josiah Nash, who works as the campaign’s Interior Coordinator, is recorded admitting that while Sen. Murkowski was publicly neutral, she secretly supported the implementation of a ranked voting system in Alaska because that is her route to victory.

“She stayed quiet and honestly it was probably best she stayed quiet on that,” Nash said, adding that “she supports it, yeah.”

“You’re not going to see the campaign come out and necessarily support progressive things. I mean, behind closed doors we’ll have talks…” Nash continued. “We’re being strategic with our messaging. Walking a fine line, I guess is what I’m saying, to try to get her elected,” he said.

Nash suggests Measure 2 was not honestly presented to Alaskans and helps progressive candidates.

“They framed it [Ballot Measure 2] basically, you know, ‘This gives you more choice’ -- ‘This makes it so we have better candidates.’ And I think it helps progressive candidates… If it was [called] a progressive measure, it wouldn’t really work,” he said.

Another paid Murkowski campaign official, Emma Ashlock, echoed Nash’s comments; admitting on camera that Ballot Measure 2 secretly benefited Sen. Murkowski and that several people who currently work in the Murkowski campaign were previously involved in passing Ballot Measure 2. One of those people is Shea Siegert, Murkowski’s Comms Director.

“I know a lot of people who were working on Ballot Measure 2. I don’t think Shea has ever worked for Senator Murkowski [before], but I know a lot of other people who worked on that have worked for Senator Murkowski,” she said.

“I know a lot of people who were working on Ballot Measure 2. I don’t think Shea has ever worked for Senator Murkowski [before], but I know a lot of other people who worked on that have worked for Senator Murkowski,” she said.

“While we were working on Ballot Measure 2 and voting for Ballot Measure 2, we had Senator Murkowski in mind the whole time,” Ashlock said.

Nash echoed a similar sentiment, “Between you and me, Ballot Measure 2 [Ranked Voting System] was actually created – I think it was created for two reasons. Number one, it was created because there were people in this state who wanted to see a better system, but they also wanted Lisa [Murkowski] to get re-elected.”

            Did Murkowski and/or her campaign staff betray Alaskans by promoting ranked-choice voting? Long-time Alaskans know that Murkowski became a Senator in the first place because she was appointed to the seat by her father, Frank Murkowski, when he left the Senate and became Governor of Alaska.

            It is totally possible that Murkowski would lose a Primary election if there were separate Republican and Democrat ballots because she is not well-liked by Republicans in Alaska. Republicans do not like the way that she votes with the Democrats much of the time. Even though Republicans do not like her, she is well-supported by Democrats. The progressive ranked-choice voting system is just what left-leaning Murkowski needs to be re-elected in a conservative state. 

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