How Winners are Losing in American Elections, by Madeline Malisa

Beware ranked-choice voting. From Madeline Malisa at

Who exactly are the winners of this new and confusing electoral system called ranked-choice voting (RCV)? It’s not the thousands of voters that show up to the polls in RCV elections only to have their votes thrown out. The winners of RCV are partisans and special interests who use the system’s design to manipulate election outcomes and undermine states’ efforts to safeguard election integrity.

Take Maine, for example. In the 2018 2nd Congressional District election, Jared Golden, the Democrat, was declared the winner despite losing in the first round of tabulation with 45.58 percent to the Republican Bruce Poliquin’s 46.33 percent. To declare Golden the winner, more than 8,000 votes were systematically thrown out.

Take also Alaska, the most recent example. In the 2022 special election to fill the seat of the late Congressman Don Young, nearly 15,000 Alaskan votes were tossed out before the Democrat Mary Peltola was declared the winner. In fact, 60 percent of voters voted Republican in the first round, but by the last tally, Peltola came out ahead by just 5,129 votes. Conveniently for the Democrats, more than 11,000 ballots were exhausted – or tossed – by the second round simply because they only voted for the other Republican candidate instead of ranking all of the candidates.

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