All blogs
All three things
All news
Nonpartisan Primaries
Instant Runoff Voting

Alaska gives us a glimpse into the future | Three Things Thursday

Alaska's final-four voting measure passed, Republicans should support Ben Raffensperger, and what congress can do to function better and bring it into the 21st century.

Brett Maney
Sr. Communications Manager
November 19, 2020

Big news this week: Alaska’s ballot Measure 2 PASSED!

Counting took a second, but nevertheless every vote has been counted. The Alaskan people have spoken. 

With one of the most powerful and transformative reform packages on the ballot this year, Alaskans have ushered in a new era of political reform, one that will free up the state’s leaders to govern on behalf of the people -- not the political parties. 

Already, commentators are starting to note the potentially transformative effects Alaska’s reform could have on the political race: 

But what exactly makes Measure 2 so powerful? All that and more in this week’s Three Things. Check it out: 

  1. North to the Future

With the passage of Alaska’s Better Elections initiative, the state will usher in a new set of incentives that have the possibility to transform the way elected officials govern. Over the last decade, Alaskans have fought against the bounds and limits of the two-party system, experiencing odd and disappointing election outcomes. This week, Unite America’s policy expert (and resident Alaskan!) Beth Hladick breaks down how Alaska’s combination of nonpartisan primaries with ranked choice voting general elections can untap and unleash the state’s independent spirit. 

“With the passage of Measure 2, when facing choices about what’s best for their state, leaders no longer have to question whether they can survive a primary challenge with low, often partisan turnout. Now, instead of fearing being “primaried,” elected officials — such as Senator Murkowski (R) or legislators in the cross-partisan House majority governing coalition — can govern more independently and pragmatically,” she writes. 

Alaskans have so much to be proud of — as do the people who made it all possible. Huge congratulations to the Alaskans for Better Elections team who have worked tirelessly to provide their state with a brighter path forward.

  1. Election Administrators’ job is not to change the outcome of the election

Despite what some leaders on the right might be saying this week, it is not the job of election administrators to change the outcome of the election. As the president and key supporters refuse to back down from the baseless claims of voter fraud and malfeasance, their ire has turned to those in their own party. Increasingly, Georgia’s Secretary of State, Ben Raffensperger (R) came under fire, as the reliably red state’s election results were confirmed: President-elect Biden won Georgia. In The New York Times this week, former Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson (R) writes about why Republicans need to support their own, especially in the case of Secretary Raffesnperger, who has sought endlessly over the course of his term to make Georgia’s elections more secure, more efficient, and more reliable.

“It is hard to believe that Mr. Raffensperger has ended up a target of Republican politicians,” Grayson writes. “He ran as a Republican and won as a Republican. His campaign was based on ensuring that ‘only American citizens are voting in our elections.’ Since taking office, he has accomplished the things Republicans want in the secretary of state’s office, including more accurate voter rolls and more efficient management that saves taxpayer money.”

Election administration shouldn’t be a partisan issue, nor should it any American question whether election officials will act with integrity when handling elections. Secretary Raffensperger has been doing his duty of putting voters first. We thank him. 

  1. Make governing great again

I’ll leave you with a look ahead; newly elected members of congress headed to DC this past week for their new member orientation. As they get the lay of the land, there’s one thing they should keep top of mind: governing in Congress has become increasingly difficult. Governing well in Congress — nearly impossible. Reforming and modernizing Congress should be at the top of members’ to-do list as they prepare to lead. 

In The Hill this week, American Enterprise Institute's Kevin Kosar writes about the bipartisan House Modernization Committee’s over 100 recommendations on how to improve and modernize congress to optimize functionality. With recommendations ranging from upgrading technology to simplifying committee schedules, Congress can make simple, pragmatic, procedural changes to the way they operate, and in doing so, begin to chip away at the gridlock that’s set in in DC. 

Without a fishing pole, it’s difficult to catch a fish; without a 21st century congress, it’s difficult to govern in the 21st century. Congress needs to modernize -- and soon.