Alaska’s Primary Debacle

 

Since a number of Alaskans are confused about this year’s primary, I suspect most of you are as well. Here’s a little clarification:

  1. This is an open primary which means political parties have nothing to do with it. Everyone who paid money to be on the ballot is on the same ballot. The top four vote-getters (regardless of political affiliation) will move on to the general election in November. There were ten choices for Governor, perhaps just as many for senate. The congressional seat was also included in this open primary format and the top four candidates (including Sarah Palin) will be going at it again in November. So Lisa Murkowski winning tonight doesn’t mean she’s the Republican nominee, it just means she gets to move on along with the other Republican nominee(s).
  2. There was also a separate “special” election on the other side of the ballot to temporarily replace Don Young’s vacant House seat. The winner of this will be a House member for three months until the general election decides the permanent replacement. Don’t ask me why they did it this way; it’s stupid…and expensive, just like everything the suits in Juneau do.
  3. The “special” election – that is to say, “special” like the guy nobody wants to get into a conversation with on the bus- is ranked choice. That means that if nobody gets a majority of the votes, the machines get to do some algebra to decide a winner based on people’s second, third, and fourth votes. It’s a system designed for fraud and there are some very overpriced nerds probably programming in that result as we speak.
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  1. kedavis Inactive
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Vince Guerra: There was also a separate “special” election on the other side of the ballot to temporarily replace Don Young’s vacant House seat. The winner of this will be a House member for three months until the general election decides the permanent replacement. Don’t ask me why they did it this way; it’s stupid…and expensive, just like everything the suits in Juneau do.

    Wouldn’t the “temporary” replacement actually be until the usual “shift change” in January?

    • #1
  2. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    Vince Guerra: The “special” election – that is to say, “special” like the guy nobody wants to get into a conversation with on the bus- is ranked choice. That means that if nobody gets a majority of the votes, the machines get to do some algebra to decide a winner based on people’s second, third, and fourth votes. It’s a system designed for fraud and there are some very overpriced nerds probably programming in that result as we speak.

    Vince, that’s preferential voting – a built in run off mechanism – we have that in Australia for most levels of Govt and people really like it.  It can, admittedly, mean Senate results can be really delayed – and we also like compulsary voting, so factor that in.  It has not, so far, been seen as particularly fraud prone – but that’s horses for courses I guess.

    I’m curious what people think about open primaries – I really like the idea, it seems to take power away from party machines and give it back to the voters.  If Alaskans want to choose between four Republicans who is anybody else to stop them?

    • #2
  3. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    Don’t ask me how to look it up, but there was a really good conversation at ricochet a couple of days ago about rank choice voting. It’s terrible. Even Duluth, MN got rid of it because it’s obviously a scam to help wacky progressives. I used to think that it was OK for primaries if everybody had good intent going in. I no longer think that way because you can’t control it at all.

    It’s good for one thing and one thing only. Something like a large group deciding where it’s going to go to lunch. Totally transparent. Nobody can game it. 

    • #3
  4. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Reading about the Alaska ranked-voting system mess made me realize that maybe it’s a blessing that the Democrats don’t acknowledge the irregularities in the 2020 election.

    On those occasions when they have believed there was a problem of some sort, the Democrats’ solutions have consistently been overly complicated, expensive, impractical, freedom restricting, and permanent. I can’t think of anything worse than open primaries and ranked voting. Those systems invite corruption.

    • #4
  5. Phil Turmel Coolidge
    Phil Turmel
    @PhilTurmel

    Ranked-choice voting is designed to allow fringe parties to gain a toehold.  It is intentionally divisive.  Without it, fringe ideas remain powerless, or hurt the major party closest to their ideology.  Traditional win by plurality punishes extremist movements.  RCV rewards extremist movements.

    Just say NO to ranked choice voting.

    • #5
  6. Postmodern Hoplite Coolidge
    Postmodern Hoplite
    @PostmodernHoplite

    I’ve long concluded that ranked choice voting (RCV) is a bad idea. It further empowers the Administrative state to have greater control of the electoral process, control that tends toward protecting the bureaucracy of the state. It exponentially increases the opportunities for inside manipulation of the votes and processes in ways that are “technically” legal, but are unethical, immoral and illegal in intent. So-called “jungle” primaries aren’t much better.

    The solution? It’s actually pretty simple: primaries are private affairs owned and operated by the political parties themselves. If the Democrats or GOP want to have a primary election, no problem. The party pays for it. Don’t want to pay the money to the state to run your election? Even less of a problem: hold a nominating convention to select your party’s candidate for the general election. Let the parties choose their own candidates, then let ‘em slug it out in the general.

    If RCV works in Australia, that’s super. Different country, different state, different nation. We’re not Australia. Every thing I’ve seen in the US re: RCV leads me to conclude it’s a bad solution to what is a pretty straightforward problem.

    • #6
  7. MWD B612 "Dawg" Member
    MWD B612 "Dawg"
    @danok1

    Zafar (View Comment):
    I’m curious what people think about open primaries – I really like the idea, it seems to take power away from party machines and give it back to the voters.  If Alaskans want to choose between four Republicans who is anybody else to stop them?

    I’m against open primaries.

    Political parties are mechanisms by which like minded people can work together to accomplish their political goals, which include electing members of their party to office. The members of each party should decide who will be the nominees for said party.

    Otherwise, what’s the point of having political parties? Why should people who haven’t even bothered to join a party get to decide who that party nominates for office?

    • #7
  8. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    MWD B612 "Dawg" (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):
    I’m curious what people think about open primaries – I really like the idea, it seems to take power away from party machines and give it back to the voters. If Alaskans want to choose between four Republicans who is anybody else to stop them?

    I’m against open primaries.

    Political parties are mechanisms by which like minded people can work together to accomplish their political goals, which include electing members of their party to office. The members of each party should decide who will be the nominees for said party.

    Otherwise, what’s the point of having political parties? Why should people who haven’t even bothered t join a party get to decide who that party nominates for office?

    In Minnesota, we have open primaries. The way it works is, they let you do it as long as you simply vote for one party. You don’t have to re-register or anything. 

    Ilhan Omar one her primary by one point. So, obviously it would be easy for the Republicans to push her out in the next primary. But man oh man, that seems like that would open a can of worms. 

    • #8
  9. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Postmodern Hoplite (View Comment):
    The solution? It’s actually pretty simple: primaries are private affairs owned and operated by the political parties themselves. If the Democrats or GOP want to have a primary election, no problem. The party pays for it. Don’t want to pay the money to the state to run your election? Even less of a problem: hold a nominating convention to select your party’s candidate for the general election. Let the parties choose their own candidates, then let ‘em slug it out in the general.

    I’ve been saying this for years. 

    The parties saved a lot of cash by turning over the primary voting to the states. But it was a huge mistake. 

    And one thing that bothers me about it is that I hear a lot of people describe their participation as exercising their “right to vote.” They really don’t understand that the political parties are private entities. 

    • #9
  10. DonG (CAGW is a Scam) Coolidge
    DonG (CAGW is a Scam)
    @DonG

    Zafar (View Comment):
    we also like compulsary voting, so factor that in. 

    If you think compulsory voting is interesting, you should see California where somebody else conveniently votes for you.

    • #10
  11. DonG (CAGW is a Scam) Coolidge
    DonG (CAGW is a Scam)
    @DonG

    Postmodern Hoplite (View Comment):
    very thing I’ve seen in the US re: RCV leads me to conclude it’s a bad solution to what is a pretty straightforward problem.

    On the internets there is a thing called “brigading”.  This is where a few influencers get their minions to attack or vote for or do something in mass, which they would not otherwise do.   I wonder if “brigading” could be done in RCV to propel a nobody into a winner.   Can elections be “bought” this way?

    • #11
  12. 9thDistrictNeighbor Member
    9thDistrictNeighbor
    @9thDistrictNeighbor

    The only way ranked choice voting works is if people vote for more than one candidate in a race.  

    • #12
  13. Sandy Member
    Sandy
    @Sandy

    MWD B612 "Dawg" (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):
    I’m curious what people think about open primaries – I really like the idea, it seems to take power away from party machines and give it back to the voters. If Alaskans want to choose between four Republicans who is anybody else to stop them?

    I’m against open primaries.

    Political parties are mechanisms by which like minded people can work together to accomplish their political goals, which include electing members of their party to office. The members of each party should decide who will be the nominees for said party.

    Otherwise, what’s the point of having political parties? Why should people who haven’t even bothered to join a party get to decide who that party nominates for office?

    I agree in principle, but a problem arises in one-party dominant areas where the primary vote IS the final vote.  

    • #13
  14. MWD B612 "Dawg" Member
    MWD B612 "Dawg"
    @danok1

    Sandy (View Comment):

    MWD B612 "Dawg" (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):
    I’m curious what people think about open primaries – I really like the idea, it seems to take power away from party machines and give it back to the voters. If Alaskans want to choose between four Republicans who is anybody else to stop them?

    I’m against open primaries.

    Political parties are mechanisms by which like minded people can work together to accomplish their political goals, which include electing members of their party to office. The members of each party should decide who will be the nominees for said party.

    Otherwise, what’s the point of having political parties? Why should people who haven’t even bothered to join a party get to decide who that party nominates for office?

    I agree in principle, but a problem arises in one-party dominant areas where the primary vote IS the final vote.

    Can you expand on this thought?

    • #14
  15. David C. Broussard Coolidge
    David C. Broussard
    @Dbroussa

    Zafar (View Comment):
    I’m curious what people think about open primaries – I really like the idea, it seems to take power away from party machines and give it back to the voters.

    In looking at the movement to promote transparency in politics (in the US) over the past century or so, the end result has been that parties have less control but that hasn’t lead to better government.  The Popular Election of Senators that was added with the 17th Amendment was designed to remove the power from the state upper houses on the thinking that it would be better for the people to select Senators.  The two results from that have been, first, the removal of the last aspect of the various states having any say in the government.  Prior to that, the states had a say, via their Senators, in the Federal gov’t, after that, the people had two houses, one proportional and one fixed, and the states had nothing.  It continued the emasculation of the sovereignty of the states started by the 14th Amendment, furthered by the 17th, and completed by the Supreme Court post WWII.  I think it was Kevin D Williamson that noted near the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic that the crisis has shown that Europe is a loose confederation of competent states, and the US is a tightly controlled group of incompetent states.  The states are weak and disorganized.  They suck at the teat of the Federal gov’t for free money, and this was, more than partially, a result of “transparency”.

    Look at the elimination of earmarks…no one wanted a “bridge to nowhere”, but when they were taken away, the parties (specifically the whips) lost their ability to encourage congressmembers to join a bi-partisan agreement.  Now, reps and Senators live in fear of a primary challenge that can lose their seat.

    Next, the result of the 1968 election was the elimination of most State caucuses in favor of primaries.  Before 1968, the convention selected the nominee based on the delegates that attended the convention.  They were primarily selected by the party apparatus.  Now, most are selected by primaries and bound to the first ballot to the results.  This has lead, not just in Presidential races, to selections that people shake their heads at because the party doesn’t have any control.  Does Christine O’Donnell ring a bell?  What about Todd Aiken?  There are many more (some would put Trump in that group as well).  

    Moving to “transparency” has consequences that are usually unforeseen and often worse than the problem that they supposedly solved.  Are we better off now that we have more partisanship in the Congress?  Are we better off now that the various states don’t have a say in the govt?

    • #15
  16. MWD B612 "Dawg" Member
    MWD B612 "Dawg"
    @danok1

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    MWD B612 "Dawg" (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):
    I’m curious what people think about open primaries – I really like the idea, it seems to take power away from party machines and give it back to the voters. If Alaskans want to choose between four Republicans who is anybody else to stop them?

    I’m against open primaries.

    Political parties are mechanisms by which like minded people can work together to accomplish their political goals, which include electing members of their party to office. The members of each party should decide who will be the nominees for said party.

    Otherwise, what’s the point of having political parties? Why should people who haven’t even bothered t join a party get to decide who that party nominates for office?

    In Minnesota, we have open primaries. The way it works is, they let you do it as long as you simply vote for one party. You don’t have to re-register or anything.

    Ilhan Omar one her primary by one point. So, obviously it would be easy for the Republicans to push her out in the next primary. But man oh man, that seems like that would open a can of worms.

    Are the primaries open in MN due to law, or convention?

    • #16
  17. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    MWD B612 "Dawg" (View Comment):

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    MWD B612 "Dawg" (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):
    I’m curious what people think about open primaries – I really like the idea, it seems to take power away from party machines and give it back to the voters. If Alaskans want to choose between four Republicans who is anybody else to stop them?

    I’m against open primaries.

    Political parties are mechanisms by which like minded people can work together to accomplish their political goals, which include electing members of their party to office. The members of each party should decide who will be the nominees for said party.

    Otherwise, what’s the point of having political parties? Why should people who haven’t even bothered t join a party get to decide who that party nominates for office?

    In Minnesota, we have open primaries. The way it works is, they let you do it as long as you simply vote for one party. You don’t have to re-register or anything.

    Ilhan Omar one her primary by one point. So, obviously it would be easy for the Republicans to push her out in the next primary. But man oh man, that seems like that would open a can of worms.

    Are the primaries open in MN due to law, or convention?

    I don’t know.

    • #17
  18. Vince Guerra Member
    Vince Guerra
    @VinceGuerra

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Vince Guerra: There was also a separate “special” election on the other side of the ballot to temporarily replace Don Young’s vacant House seat. The winner of this will be a House member for three months until the general election decides the permanent replacement. Don’t ask me why they did it this way; it’s stupid…and expensive, just like everything the suits in Juneau do.

    Wouldn’t the “temporary” replacement actually be until the usual “shift change” in January?

    Technically, I suppose, but aside from the few last-minute pork bills, how much does Congress really do between Nov and Jan. 

    • #18
  19. Sandy Member
    Sandy
    @Sandy

    MWD B612 "Dawg" (View Comment):

    Sandy (View Comment):

    MWD B612 "Dawg" (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):
    I’m curious what people think about open primaries – I really like the idea, it seems to take power away from party machines and give it back to the voters. If Alaskans want to choose between four Republicans who is anybody else to stop them?

    I’m against open primaries.

    Political parties are mechanisms by which like minded people can work together to accomplish their political goals, which include electing members of their party to office. The members of each party should decide who will be the nominees for said party.

    Otherwise, what’s the point of having political parties? Why should people who haven’t even bothered to join a party get to decide who that party nominates for office?

    I agree in principle, but a problem arises in one-party dominant areas where the primary vote IS the final vote.

    Can you expand on this thought?

    I live in a one-party city. When the mayoral primary came up I couldn’t ethically vote because it is closed to the GOP. I would have had to promise to vote for the Democrat in the general election. Any Democrat would win in the general but I had no say in which candidate got to the general, though there was a less-bad candidate I would have preferred. Disenfranchised. 

    • #19
  20. Bishop Wash Member
    Bishop Wash
    @BishopWash

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    Don’t ask me how to look it up, but there was a really good conversation at ricochet a couple of days ago about rank choice voting. It’s terrible. Even Duluth, MN got rid of it because it’s obviously a scam to help wacky progressives. I used to think that it was OK for primaries if everybody had good intent going in. I no longer think that way because you can’t control it at all.

    It’s good for one thing and one thing only. Something like a large group deciding where it’s going to go to lunch. Totally transparent. Nobody can game it.

    We were talking about it in the FBI is Corrupt post.

    • #20
  21. MWD B612 "Dawg" Member
    MWD B612 "Dawg"
    @danok1

    Sandy (View Comment):

    MWD B612 "Dawg" (View Comment):

    Sandy (View Comment):

    MWD B612 "Dawg" (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):
    I’m curious what people think about open primaries – I really like the idea, it seems to take power away from party machines and give it back to the voters. If Alaskans want to choose between four Republicans who is anybody else to stop them?

    I’m against open primaries.

    Political parties are mechanisms by which like minded people can work together to accomplish their political goals, which include electing members of their party to office. The members of each party should decide who will be the nominees for said party.

    Otherwise, what’s the point of having political parties? Why should people who haven’t even bothered to join a party get to decide who that party nominates for office?

    I agree in principle, but a problem arises in one-party dominant areas where the primary vote IS the final vote.

    Can you expand on this thought?

    I live in a one-party city. When the mayoral primary came up I couldn’t ethically vote because it is closed to the GOP. I would have had to promise to vote for the Democrat in the general election. Any Democrat would win in the general but I had no say in which candidate got to the general, though there was a less-bad candidate I would have preferred. Disenfranchised.

    Got it. Thanks for the explanation.

    • #21
  22. Vince Guerra Member
    Vince Guerra
    @VinceGuerra

    To clarify #1 in case it sounds like Murkowski is up against Palin: She gets to move on along with the other Republican nominees (Kelly Tshibaka and Buzz Kelly) and the last remaining Democrat (Patricia Chesbro).

    • #22
  23. kedavis Inactive
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Vince Guerra (View Comment):

    To clarify #1 in case it sounds like Murkowski is up against Lisa: She gets to move on along with the other Republican nominees (Kelly Tshibaka and Buzz Kelly) and the last remaining Democrat (Patricia Chesbro).

    Is there another Lisa besides Murkowski?

    • #23
  24. Vince Guerra Member
    Vince Guerra
    @VinceGuerra

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Vince Guerra (View Comment):

    To clarify #1 in case it sounds like Murkowski is up against Lisa: She gets to move on along with the other Republican nominees (Kelly Tshibaka and Buzz Kelly) and the last remaining Democrat (Patricia Chesbro).

    Is there another Lisa besides Murkowski?

    Thanks, I meant Palin. Corrected. 

    • #24
  25. Vince Guerra Member
    Vince Guerra
    @VinceGuerra

    Also note that the DOE doesn’t count the absentee ballots until Aug 26 which leaves plenty of time for the math magicians to do their thing…just like in 2020. 

    • #25
  26. DaveSchmidt Coolidge
    DaveSchmidt
    @DaveSchmidt

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    Don’t ask me how to look it up, but there was a really good conversation at ricochet a couple of days ago about rank choice voting. It’s terrible. Even Duluth, MN got rid of it because it’s obviously a scam to help wacky progressives. I used to think that it was OK for primaries if everybody had good intent going in. I no longer think that way because you can’t control it at all.

    It’s good for one thing and one thing only. Something like a large group deciding where it’s going to go to lunch. Totally transparent. Nobody can game it.

    It depends on good intentions.  That is too rare to base governing on. 

    • #26
  27. kedavis Inactive
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    DaveSchmidt (View Comment):

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    Don’t ask me how to look it up, but there was a really good conversation at ricochet a couple of days ago about rank choice voting. It’s terrible. Even Duluth, MN got rid of it because it’s obviously a scam to help wacky progressives. I used to think that it was OK for primaries if everybody had good intent going in. I no longer think that way because you can’t control it at all.

    It’s good for one thing and one thing only. Something like a large group deciding where it’s going to go to lunch. Totally transparent. Nobody can game it.

    It depends on good intentions. That is too rare to base governing on.

    Also, deciding where to go to lunch rarely affects the deficit, or starts a war…

    • #27
  28. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    DaveSchmidt (View Comment):

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    Don’t ask me how to look it up, but there was a really good conversation at ricochet a couple of days ago about rank choice voting. It’s terrible. Even Duluth, MN got rid of it because it’s obviously a scam to help wacky progressives. I used to think that it was OK for primaries if everybody had good intent going in. I no longer think that way because you can’t control it at all.

    It’s good for one thing and one thing only. Something like a large group deciding where it’s going to go to lunch. Totally transparent. Nobody can game it.

    It depends on good intentions. That is too rare to base governing on.

    Ignore the confusing rhetoric around it. It’s bad. It needs to be stamped out everywhere.

    • #28
  29. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    Don’t ask me how to look it up, but there was a really good conversation at ricochet a couple of days ago about rank choice voting. It’s terrible. Even Duluth, MN got rid of it because it’s obviously a scam to help wacky progressives. I used to think that it was OK for primaries if everybody had good intent going in. I no longer think that way because you can’t control it at all.

    Who is ‘you’?  Voters should control it, and the more control they have (and the less political party officials have) the better.

     

    • #29
  30. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    Zafar (View Comment):

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    Don’t ask me how to look it up, but there was a really good conversation at ricochet a couple of days ago about rank choice voting. It’s terrible. Even Duluth, MN got rid of it because it’s obviously a scam to help wacky progressives. I used to think that it was OK for primaries if everybody had good intent going in. I no longer think that way because you can’t control it at all.

    Who is ‘you’? Voters should control it, and the more control they have (and the less political party officials have) the better.

     

    I worded that poorly. 

    It gets controlled by special interests. The progressive know how to game it. 

    It’s bad. It’s not democratic. 

    • #30
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