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Alaskans for Better Elections

Alaska voters made history in becoming the first state to adopt top-four nonpartisan primaries. Now, we're supporting the work to defend their vote and educate Alaskans.

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Nonpartisan Primaries
Ranked Choice Voting

Background

In 2020, Alaska voters made history by becoming the first state to adopt top-four nonpartisan primaries, and the second to vote in favor of ranked choice voting. Yet, the fight to implement the reform began immediately. Within days of the amendment passing, a lawsuit was filed to challenge the measure. Some lawmakers are opposed to the policy, and the legislature can hold a vote to repeal the election reform following the 2022 election. Finally, it will be the first time an election system of this nature is ever used in the United States, requiring a robust public education effort grounded in new research and prolonged outreach campaigns. 

The Policy

Alaska will be the first state to implement “Final Four Voting:” the powerful combination of top-four nonpartisan primaries and ranked choice voting. All candidates — regardless of party affiliation — will compete in a single primary open to all voters, and the top four finishers will advance to the general election. Then, ranked choice voting will be used to ensure the winner has majority support. In addition, the ballot measure strengthened transparency rules for political campaign spending.


2021 Priorities

The organization is working to implement the new policy and focused on four priorities:

  1. Defending the win. The organization is working to inoculate opposition from lawmakers who could repeal the measure, as well as to defend the policy against legal challenges.

  2. Supporting election administrators. The organization is working to engage local election administrators to make sure they have the tools and resources they need.

  3. Educating stakeholders. The organization is working to educate the media, candidates, and other organizations about the policy’s impact.

  4. Public engagement. The organization is working to educate voters about the new system, conducting new research, and engaging in media campaigns. 

The Organization

Alaskans for Better Elections is led by Executive Director Jason Grenn and Political Director Shea Siegert. The organization is governed by a steering committee which represents the geographical and ideological diversity of the state. 

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